Hawaii study says black coral contains algae - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii study says black coral contains algae

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology scientists have found black coral from deep waters can contain algae, contrary to commonly held perceptions.

Researchers studied 14 black coral species collected about 30 to 1,300 feet below the surface in waters around Hawaii.

They found 71 percent of the species contained algae, even one found nearly 1,300 feet underwater.

Scientists had previously believed black coral didn't contain algae because they live in waters so deep there's not much light to nourish photosynthesis.

Researchers say it's still not clear how algae are able to survive in such extreme conditions.

The researchers are due to publish their findings this month in a journal of the London-based Royal Society.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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