White out : Why corals lose their color

Corals have a very special relationship with yellow-brown algae called zooxanthellae (zoh-uh-zan-THEL-lee). The algae live inside the corals and get protection .Zooxanthellae provide the corals with food and nutrients. They also give the corals their color.

Coral reefs grow best in waters with a temperature between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. When the ocean temperature rises just one or two degrees, zooxanthellae will leave the corals or die. Without the algae, corals lose their color and turn white. This is called “coral bleaching “.

Things you can do to protect coral reefs

– Use less water.
– Recycle your garbage.
– Get rid of trash properly.
– Buy Household products that don’t harm the ocean.
– Ask where the seafood you eat is caught.
– If you dive or snorkel, don’t disturb the coral.
– Don’t buy souvenirs or jewelry made from coral.
– Don’t keep reef fishes or coral in a home aquarium.
– Join a group that protects coral reefs.
– Visit and support marine parks and reserves.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Powered by

© 2019 The Cousteau Society.
All rights reserved.