The mechanism of coral bleaching

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The mechanism of coral bleaching

Clip from Catalyst  |  ABC  |  October 3, 2017

Coral bleaching occurs when the relationship between algae symbionts and the coral is disrupted, which happens when the plant-cells (algae symbionts) are exposed to high temperatures, causing the algae to stop photosynthesising and produce an irritant. The coral then begins to reject the plant-cells, losing its colour and primary energy source. Once the coral has lost its life-giving plant-cells, it will eventually die.

Coral bleaching occurs when the relationship between algae symbionts and the coral is disrupted, which happens when the plant-cells (algae symbionts) are exposed to high temperatures, causing the algae to stop photosynthesising and produce an irritant. The coral then begins to reject the plant-cells, losing its colour and primary energy source. Once the coral has lost its life-giving plant-cells, it will eventually die.

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