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They analysed how well different light colours spread through dense layers of zooxanthellae, the symbionts that are vital to coral survival.
When there is an abnormal increase/decrease in temperature and light intensity, these zooxanthellae somehow become inefficient and begin to produce harmful reactive oxygen that damages the cellular structure of its coral symbiont.
CORAL BLEACHING is the massive loss of photosynthesising zooxanthellae from most coral polyps within a coral colony.
Ritchie is proposing that a third player may be involved in the relationship: symbiotic bacteria that help keep corals, and perhaps zooxanthellae, healthy.
Ancient single-celled algae also live inside the bodies of living corals in the Florida Keys, known collectively as zooxanthellae (zo-o-zanth-elli).
As ocean temperatures rise, a very important algae called zooxanthellae (zoo-zan-thel-y) that provides food for corals--and contributes to their remarkable colors--can no longer make food.
Over months of fieldwork, study and analysis, Dr Jones and Dr Berkelmans assessed both the survival and regeneration potential of specific coral species and their zooxanthellae (4) (algal) symbionts.
Costa CF, Amaral FMD (2002) Density and size differences in zooxanthellae from five reefbuilding coral species from Brazil.
Yellow-brown algae called zooxanthellae support their hosts' survival by carrying out photosynthesis and providing nutrients that stimulate construction of reef coral colonies.
This species lives in water depths of 49 to 152 m without zooxanthellae and may form extensive thickets 1 m tall, which over thousands of years have built up mounds and ridges extending as much as 200 m laterally and 35 m above the surrounding seafloor (Reed, 1980).
Coral reefs have evolved over the past two hundred to three hundred million years, developing a unique form of symbiosis with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae.
1) Hermatypic corals contain and depend upon zooxanthellae (algae) for nutrients.
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