How does coral bleaching result?

Coral bleaching is due to the fact that the algae part of the coral reef ecosystem can no longer photosynthesize properly – therfore, losing the “reef” structure and the corals remain white – since the zooxannthellea are not around (that’s the algae – and responsible for the color of the coral). This occurs due to a lack of sunlight – mostly from a build up of substances (usually, man made – on the surface of the ocean).

Comments

  1. It’s not that the algae found within corals are unable to photosynthesize. The problem is that stress causes the corals to expel the algae; they literally kick them out. Because the algae provide most of the color to the corals’ tissues, expelling the algae turns the corals white. While many forms of stress can cause corals to bleach, major coral bleaching that extends over hundreds of kilometers or more is caused by high ocean temperatures.

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