Bleached coral

Bleached coral

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bleached coral. Coral death results in this loss of colour (bleaching). The bleaching is due to the loss of symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae). The exact mechanism or trigger for the bleaching is unknown, but adverse changes in the coral's environment are factors, especially prolonged warming. Increases in sea temperatures due to global warming and sea pollution have both been cited as probable causes for the death of corals. This coral lies outside a lagoon at a depth of 15 metres. Photographed off Moorea Island, French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean.

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Keywords: algae, animal, bleached, bleaching, coelenterate, colonial, coral, damage, dead, death, destruction, disruption, ecological, ecology, environment, environmental, french polynesia, global warming, harm, heat, increase, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine, moorea island, nature, ocean, oceania, pacific, polynesian, polyp, polyps, sea, temperature, tropical, tropics, underwater, water, wildlife, zooanthellae, zoology

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