Coral bleaching is the loss of intracellular endosymbionts (Symbiodinium, also known as zooxanthellae) through either expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation. The corals that form the structure of the great reef ecosystems of tropical seas depend upon a symbiotic relationship with unicellular flagellate protozoa that are photosynthetic and live within their tissues. Zooxanthellae give coral its coloration, with the specific color depending on the particular clade. Under stress, corals may expel their zooxanthellae, which leads to a lighter or completely white appearance, hence the term "bleached".
Read more about Coral Bleaching: Causes, Triggers, Mass Bleaching Events, Impact
Famous quotes containing the words coral and/or bleaching:
“The cities are the principal home and seat of the human group. They are the coral colony for Man, the collective being.”
—Alfred Döblin (18781957)
“Worn down by the hoofs of millions of half-wild Texas cattle driven along it to the railheads in Kansas, the trail was a bare, brown, dusty strip hundreds of miles long, lined with the bleaching bones of longhorns and cow ponies. Here and there a broken-down chuck wagon or a small mound marking the grave of some cowhand buried by his partners on the lone prairie gave evidence to the hardships of the journey.”
—For the State of Kansas, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)