Effects Of Coral Bleaching On Corals

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Coral reefs can be found in shallow and deep waters and are one of the most diverse ecosystems. They are home to many and most of the marine organisms in the ocean. Most of these ecosystems are at risk however due to the rising temperatures of the oceans. Sea temperatures in many tropical regions have increased by almost 1°C over the past 100 years, and are currently increasing at ~1–2°C per century (Ove Hoegh. 1999). Because of this increase in temperatures, the future of our worlds coral reefs are in danger and at risk to things like coral bleaching, effects of rising ocean acidification levels and the effects from sea levels rising. Coral bleaching is the loss of a corals’ zooxanthellae that lives in the tissues of the coral and because of this loss the corals turn completely white. Coral bleaching is mostly caused by the warm temperatures of the water which means that climate change can have an effect on the coral reefs. Corals live in very nutrient poor waters and have certain zones of tolerance to water temperature, salinity, UV radiation, opacity, and nutrient quantities (Jason Buchheim). Because most coral reefs are found in clear, shallow tropical waters, light is able to pass through and heat up the water and coral beneath it. Most reef-building corals normally contain around 1-5 x 106 zooxanthellae cm-2 of live surface tissue and 2-10 pg of chlorophyll a per zooxanthella. When corals bleach they commonly lose 60-90% of their zooxanthellae and each zooxanthella may lose 50-80% of its photosynthetic pigments (Jason Buchheim). Because of climate change, the water temperatures change in various locations and regions of the world that may not be used to that certain type of climate. Areas with coral reefs are affected by ... ... middle of paper ... ...eefs and when added to other stressors such as Ocean acidification which was mentioned about, the coral can no longer sustain growth and ultimately die. The article Rebecca G. Nilsey studies the effects and concerns over the trees and climate change. The article talks about tree ranges shifting due to climate change and not just individual trees but on forests. It expresses concern over the problem and questions what will happen to specific tree species as the temperatures increase. This relates to the effects of climate change on Coral reefs because it shows that climate change does not only affect coral reef but can affect trees and like said in the article “Trees cope with stress in the only way they can—mature trees will start producing more seeds” just like coral reefs can cope with the stress of climate change by losing their zooxanthellae and become bleached.

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