Corals are colonial organisms that belongs to the Cnidaria phylum, which includes jellyfish, anemones, and hydra which forms polyps with stinging cells. There are two types of corals, one is the soft coral which has proteinaceous skeleton and the other is the hard coral which has a skeleton made out of calcium carbonate. The hard corals are considered as the ecosystem engineers due to their abundance and diversity, making up for most of the coral reef. These reef not only provide food for the marine organisms, but the three dimensional structure also provides shelter and habitat for them and also act as the geochemical role, fixating nitrogen of the ocean and sequestering carbon into their skeleton.
In the article, "Are Infectious Diseases Really Killing Corals? Alternative Interpretations Of The Experimental And Ecological Data." by Michael Lesser, Lesser goes into details about how the disease that are causing coral reef degradation are caused by opportunistic infection. It is also explained that these infection are caused by the usually harmless bacteria that lives in the environment or the coral mucus layers w...
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...ges in the microorganisms from harmless bacteria into opportunistic pathogen, along with the virulence factors. These changes of the bacteria isn’t considered as evolutions but are considered as emergent pathogens. Studies shows that ironically the corals are one of the reason that there are microbial growth causing the emergent pathogens. This phenomenon occurs when there are pollution in the environment the corals produces excess mucous, causing death of the coral tissue by oxygen depletion and toxin accumulation caused by the microbial growth. Other studies show that the increased microbial growth is also caused by the increased amount of algaes, inorganic nutrients, and dissolved organic carbon. These studies proving that there will be an explosive rate of microbial growth when the critical stress level of the coral is exceeded, causing coral disease and death.
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