Pollution is not only directly affecting coral reefs, but is indirectly also making life difficult for them. Sunlight is essential for coral reefs. Symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae living in the corals photosynthesise to produce carbohydrates and oxygen that the corals use to make reef-building calcium carbonate. If waters become less transparent then the entire process of photosynthesis gets disrupted. Researchers from the Biglow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine, USA, found that some reefs in the Florida Keys are getting barely enough sunlight to sustain themselves. (New Scientist, March 23, 2002, Vol 173, No 2331, p14).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.