“Due to the sedentary nature and narrow tolerance range for environmental conditions of corals, reef ecosystems are highly vulnerable to acute stressors, and may change rapidly in their structure and functioning. They are thus expected to be highly vulnerable to future climatic changes,” says Mehdi Adjeroud, a co-author of the study and senior researcher at the IRD. He says the species that will probably survive into the next decades are those characterised by a thermal tolerance and life history traits adapted for longevity. Species of the genus Porites are among these ‘winners’, Adjeroud says. In contrast, species of the genus Acropora will probably decline in many Pacific reefs, as already observed in the Caribbean.