Report

The Dynamics of Zooxanthellae Populations: A Long-Term Study in the Field

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5403, pp. 843-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5403.843

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Coral bleaching characterized by the expulsion of symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) is an increasing problem worldwide. Global warming has been implicated as one cause, but the phenomenon cannot be fully comprehended without an understanding of the variability of zooxanthellae populations in field conditions. Results from a 6-year field study are presented, providing evidence of density regulation but also of large variability in the zooxanthellae population with regular episodes of very low densities. These bleaching events are likely to be part of a constant variability in zooxanthellae density caused by environmental fluctuations superimposed on a strong seasonal cycle in abundance.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: m.hassell{at}ic.ac.uk

View Full Text