Coral Bleaching

Corals get their energy in part from microscopic symbiotic algae that live inside their cells. These algae, called zooxanthellae, produce sugar and other nutrients through photosynthesis. When ocean temperatures rise beyond a certain threshold, the symbiont’s photosynthetic machinery may be damaged and produce harmful reactive oxygen molecules, causing the corals to eject the algae. Without their golden-brown colored symbionts, corals become a ghostly white in a process called bleaching and eventually die.

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Description

Corals get their energy in part from microscopic symbiotic algae that live inside their cells. These algae, called zooxanthellae, produce sugar and other nutrients through photosynthesis. When ocean temperatures rise beyond a certain threshold, the symbiont’s photosynthetic machinery may be damaged and produce harmful reactive oxygen molecules, causing the corals to eject the algae. Without their golden-brown colored symbionts, corals become a ghostly white in a process called bleaching and eventually die.

Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Keyword Coral Bleaching, Climate Change
Date Of Record Creation 2019-01-26 19:50:21
Education Level
Date Last Modified 8/25/2016 15:33
Language English
Date Record Checked: 8/25/2016 15:31 (W3C-DTF)

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