The scientists working on the coral reef oases have identified about thirty-eight individuals within the Pacific and western Atlantic seas. These coral reef oases are thought to have resisted, escaped, or rebounded from the coral cover decline.

The scientific fraternity seems highly concerned about the rising threats to the coral reef existence. Some of the causes for threatening the coral reefs are mass bleaching events, overfishing, pollution and invasions. However, some of the corals are thought to survive better than their immediate neighbours. The research study finds its way into the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Peter Edmunds says, “Over the last 12 to 24 months, bad news about coral reefs has appeared at an alarming rate, notably because of the severe coral bleaching that occurred on the Great Barrier Reef due to the 2016 El Niño. The overall message is ‘Oh my goodness, coral reefs all over the world are dying, and many have already gone. We felt there was a fragment missing from that story.” Peter Edmunds is a marine biologist at the California State University, Northridge, United States. He is also the co-author of the current research study on the coral reef oases.

To evaluate the history of these coral reef oases, Edmunds and his colleague researchers analysed the previous research data retrieved from the long-term reef monitoring programs. These long-term reef monitoring programs were worked out in Pacific ocean and western Atlantic ocean.

James Guest conveyed to Mongabay, “I think the concept of oasis reefs resonates with any coral reef ecologist who has dived extensively on a wide range of reefs. Personally, my experiences working in Singapore – one of the most heavily impacted coral reef environment in the world – made me aware of how some reefs can be remarkably resistant despite chronic and acute disturbances.” James Guest is a marine biologist at the New Castle University in the United Kingdom.

Guest concludes, “The motivation for me to develop this method was to help managers, and scientists figure out which reefs are doing well and which reefs are doing poorly, and then to figure out what drives these differences and decide what actions to take regarding protection and conservation.”