Historical Temperature Variability Affects Coral Response to Heat Stress Jessica Carilli ... Carilli 1 * Simon D. Donner 2 Aaron ... Carilli et al This is an open-access article distributed PLoS ONE: Research Article, published 30 Mar 2012 10.1371/journal.pone.0034418
Carilli, J., Donner, S.D. and Hartmann, A.C. 2012. Historical temperature variability affects coral response to heat stress. PLoS ONE 7: e34418.
What was done
Carilli et al., as they describe it, "collected cores from massive Porites sp. corals in the Gilbert Islands of Kiribati to investigate how corals along a natural gradient in temperature variability responded to recent heat stress events," in the course of which activity they "examined changes in coral skeletal growth rates and partial mortality scars (Carilli et al., 2010) to investigate the impact of the bleaching event in 2004 (Donner, 2011) on corals from different temperature variability regimes."
What it means
In the concluding sentence of their paper's abstract, Carilli et al. say their study indicates that "coral reefs in locations with more frequent warm events may be more resilient to future warming," which suggests that taking a little extra heat every once in a while prepares corals to better deal with less frequent but more extreme heat waves when they inevitably do occur.