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Coral Reef Bleaching - Term Paper Example

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Coral Reef Bleaching Name Professor Institution Course Date Coral Reef Bleaching Why/how Coral bleaching occurs Introduction Coral reefs develop in the sea or ocean environment. The development of coral reefs occurs through the massive and long-term build-up of calcareous skeletal of scleractinian corals (Rosenberg et al., 2009)…
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Coral Reef Bleaching
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Download file to see previous pages Why/how Coral bleaching occurs Coral bleaching occurs because of the disintegration between corals and their symbionts or endosymbiosis (Symbiodinium spp) (Ainsworth et al., 2008). Most of the bleaching on corals occurs during the warm season. Established scientific evidence indicates that environmental stressors that include the increase of heat in sea surface temperatures tend to be the main cause of coral bleaching (Bourne et al., 2008). Moreover, high solar radiation tends to be a significant cause of large-scale bleaching (Bourne et al., 2008). Moreover, research indicates that seasonal bleaching also tends to occur because of an infection by the bacterium Vibrio shiloi (Bourne et al., 2008). Another established cause of coral bleaching is sea pollution that mostly occurs because of various human activities. For example, sunscreens that tend to promote viral infections play a significant role in causing coral bleaching especially in areas where there are high levels of human activities (Danovaro et al., 2008). Santavy eta al (2011) also indicates that various multiple chronic stressors play a significant role in the occurrence of bleaching. Ecological Impacts of Coral Bleaching Various impacts in the environment tend to emerge after coral bleaching events. One of these impacts includes massive threat to tropical coral-ecosystems (Anthony et al., 2009). Occurrence of bleaching results to lethal or sub-lethal stress on the reefs (Anthony et al., 2009). Moreover, coral bleaching results to loss of endosymbiotic algae or its associated pigment from the coral reefs (Ainsworth, et al., 2008). Bleaching also tends to cause changes in microbial communities. Bleaching also results to the reduction of coral reefs. This is because most of the reefs fail to cope with the harsh conditions and disease occurrences that emerge because of bleaching (Brandt & McManus, 2009). Another established significant impact of bleaching is that it reduces skeletal growth in corals (Carilli et al., 2009). Moreover, it is also necessary to consider that coral reefs provide the livelihood of most people within the tropics (Maynard et al., 2008). For example, some types of the corals are used for building purpose (Seneca et al., 2010). Corals also tend to be significant tourism attraction features hence increasing economic value within the tropics. Therefore, occurrences of bleaching are a major blow to various activities enacted by people within tropic areas. McWilliams et al., (2005) indicates that bleaching poses as one of the major threats of coral reefs because they end-up dying. Vivekanandan et al., (2009) indicates that corals tend to be the most diverse marine habitat and therefore bleaching affects the directly affects the living conditions of the estimated 0.5 million species that rely on the reefs. Possible solutions/treatments of coral bleaching There are minimal established ways in which treatment of coral bleaching can be performed. However, possible solutions include laboratory studies that would assist determining the role of coral-associated communities and how they react during stressful environment conditions (Ainsworth et al., 2008). This may assist in coming-up with a reliable solution on how to minimize large population of corals being affected during warm sea seasons. Moreover, prevention of thermal stress in the future may contribute in prevention of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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