Coral biology

Coral biology

In marine science, coral biology is an academic discipline that studies various aspects of the biology of corals. Coral reefs are a significant ecosystem in terms of biodiversity and there is increased destruction of their habitat world-wide due to human causes and or natural effects. It has become increasingly necessary to understand the impact of these ecolgical changes on corals at the cellular level.

The most important studies in coral biology concern the symbiotic relationship of dinoflagellates and the cnidarian host. The mechanism of bleaching is still unclear; the causes of the loss of the dinoflagellates during a bleaching effect is unknown. Postulated alternatives are: the coral animal expels the symbiotic partner, the zooxanthellae escapes, and a combination of both. Understanding this behaviour is a significant aspect of modern coral biology.

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