Coral reef bleaching
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Coral Reef Bleaching. By: Sarah Barash. What is Coral Reef Bleaching?. Coral reef bleaching is caused by many factors but is basically when the coral is stressed and the coral expels the algae living in it. Why Is Coral Important?. They shelter 25 percent of marine species

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Coral Reef Bleaching

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Coral Reef Bleaching

By: Sarah Barash

What is Coral Reef Bleaching?

  • Coral reef bleaching is caused by many factors but is basically when the coral is stressed and the coral expels the algae living in it

Why Is Coral Important?

  • They shelter 25 percent of marine species

  • Protect shorelines

  • Support fishing industries

  • Tourist Attraction

  • Medical use

  • Biodiversity

Key Terms

  • Zooxanthellae- a photosynthetic algae that lives in coral and gives the coral its color. The coral and zooxanthellae have a mutualism relationship

  • Sedimentation- particles mixing with water

How It Is Caused

  • Reduction of photosynthetic pigment concentrations in zooxanthealle

  • sea temperature (too hot)

  • Sedimentation

  • Foreign chemicals and nutrients (fertilizers, purchased dirt, etc.)

  • Freshwater

  • Overfishing

Areas That Are Affected

  • Florida Keys

  • Caribbean

  • Gulf of Mexico

  • South Atlantic

  • Western Pacific

What Will Happen?

  • Climate Change: the ocean will no longer be able to handle the carbon emissions in the ocean because the zooxanthealle will be gone

  • Ocean Acidification: the extra CO2 has already begun to decreasing the ocean’s pH level

  • Fishing Impact: the healthy coral acts as a home for many commercial fish

  • Pollution: can cause disease and change the trophic structure


Environmental Impact

  • Trophic levels will be changed

  • Extreme human growth can cause over fishing bringing down biodiversity

How It Affects the Carbon Cycle

But You Can Help!

  • Reduce Greenhouse Gases because scientists already predict a 1.8ºF raise in water temperature in the next century already due to the emissions

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- be mindful of where your waste and runoff go!

Works Cited

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