Symbiotic Algae Could Help Corals Adapt To Climate Change

By September 14, 2018Coral Reef
Diversity of Symbiotic Algae Could Be The Future For Coral Reefs

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Coral Reefs all over the world have been plagued by increasing temperatures due to Climate Change over the past 100 or so years. Researchers, conservationists and the rest of the world are concerned about the well being of one of the most diverse habitats in the world. 

Coral Reef habitats have been around for millions of years as they build their skeleton with symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae, which are microscopic algae that conduct photosynthesis in the coral skeleton and whose byproducts allow the coral to build it’s skeleton. 

Increasing temperatures in the Ocean cause the zooxanthellae to leave the coral as the temperatures are too warm. The result is a white coloured coral that could die if the algae does not come back to the coral. The term for this process is known as coral bleaching. 

Bleaching is occurring everywhere and as long as temperatures continue to rise, bleaching will not stop; however, there may be a solution that lies in the diversity of the zooxanthellae.

Many of the species that we know today have a narrow temperature range, but there are some species that tolerate higher temperatures. These species could carry some corals into the new temperature ranges that we are seeing today.

Check out the episode for more information on this topic and let me know what you think in the Facebook Group.

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