Bleaching of Hermatypic Corals

Bleaching of Hermatypic Corals In this paper, I review data on the magnitude and extent of reef coral bleaching events and consider modern hypotheses on the mechanisms of this natural phenomenon and experimental data lying at their basis. Four possible mechanisms of color loss by hermatypic corals have been confirmed experimentally: bacterial infection, change of zooxanthellae type in the polyps to improve the heat resistance of the photosynthetic function of coral to elevated seawater temperature, intoxication of zooxanthellae by animal metabolic wastes at high temperature and light levels, and thermal and photodestruction of the animal and algal cells. The heating effect of photosynthetic active radiation on the zooxanthellar cells in coral polyps was verified theoretically. The calculations showed that in the natural environment, the additional light-induced heating of zooxanthellae is not above 0.01°C and that it cannot cause disruption of the animal and zooxanthellae symbiosis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Russian Journal of Marine Biology Springer Journals

Bleaching of Hermatypic Corals

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology
ISSN
1063-0740
eISSN
1608-3377
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1021885805564
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this paper, I review data on the magnitude and extent of reef coral bleaching events and consider modern hypotheses on the mechanisms of this natural phenomenon and experimental data lying at their basis. Four possible mechanisms of color loss by hermatypic corals have been confirmed experimentally: bacterial infection, change of zooxanthellae type in the polyps to improve the heat resistance of the photosynthetic function of coral to elevated seawater temperature, intoxication of zooxanthellae by animal metabolic wastes at high temperature and light levels, and thermal and photodestruction of the animal and algal cells. The heating effect of photosynthetic active radiation on the zooxanthellar cells in coral polyps was verified theoretically. The calculations showed that in the natural environment, the additional light-induced heating of zooxanthellae is not above 0.01°C and that it cannot cause disruption of the animal and zooxanthellae symbiosis.

Journal

Russian Journal of Marine BiologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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