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Comparing The Bleaching Of Coral And Zooxanthellae

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Coral bleaching is a phenomenal threat that occurs in response to fluctuating water temperatures, salinity levels, light exposure and disease (Veron, 2009). Embedded within the tissues of coral is a photosynthetic algae known as Zooxanthellae. Both coral and zooxanthellae share an integral symbiotic relationship each allowing each other to function. Zooxanthellae provide the coral with carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis, allowing the coral to form its calcium carbonate skeleton. In response, the coral provides the zooxanthellae with nutrients needed for its survival. The ‘bleaching’ of the coral is a stress response to the breakdown of the coral-zooxanthellae relationship through the expulsion of the algae from the coral. When
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