Zooxanthellae's Symbiotic Relationship With Coral Reefs

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Zooxanthellae’s response to thermal stress conditions and the effects it has with its symbiotic relationship with Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are among the most riches ecosystems on Earth. Coral reefs only cover less than two percent of the ocean surface (Fujise 2014). Within these coral reefs, corals have a coevolutionary relationship with zooxanthellae. Coral reefs rely heavily on zooxanthellae for photosynthetic byproducts that are required for calcium carbonate production for the corals to grow. Zooxanthellae, specifically Symbiodinium, are microalgae that live within the polyps of corals. Through the symbiotic relationship between corals and Symbiodinium, coral reefs are able to thrive in warm tropical ocean waters. However, …show more content…

The cell death leads to the expulsion of the zooxanthellae from the corals, which eventually will lead to coral bleaching. Zooxanthellae give corals their color. Symbiodinium are responsible for the majority of coral’s energy (Berkelmans 2006). A coevolutionary relationship is necessary for coral reefs to thrive. This symbiotic relationship is effective in recycling nutrients and using light (Berkelmans 2006). Without this symbiosis, corals cannot survive without zooxanthellae. Symbiodinium responds to thermal stress in a negative manner in correlation to its symbiotic relationship with …show more content…

It is miles long and has an abundance of individual reefs along the coastal lines. The Great Barrie Reef is located in the Coral Sea in the Northern tip of Australia. This region is full of corals and zooxanthellae making it an optimal place for experimentation.

MONITORING METHOD Tiny fragments cut into the size of four centimeters long of A. millepora will be taken from colonies. Twenty of these fragments of coral are to be collected to be tested under different thermal stress conditions. The corals will be placed into tanks in the same amount of depth that they were found in. Ten of the coral fragments will be kept at the initial temperature of the water at time of harvesting and the remaining ten will be put under different temperatures that are higher than thirty degrees

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