Med. Weter. 75 (4), 221-231, 2019

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MICHAŁ SCHULZ, ALEKSANDRA ŁOŚ, PATRYCJA SKOWRONEK, ANETA STRACHECKA
Prominence of environmental and anthropogenic agents on the occurrence of coral reef bleaching syndrome and coral diseases
Coral reefs are the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They ensure the conservation of biodiversity and are a live habitat for 25% of all marine organisms. The main relationship on the coral reef is the symbiosis between corals and algae from the genus Symbiodinium (commonly called zooxanthellae). The authors of this publication have characterized and described the factors limiting the occurrence of coral reefs, including: water temperature, salinity, access to sunlight, contamination, physicochemical and hydromechanical parameters of water. Moreover anthropogenic threats to coral reefs have been specified, including diving tourism, ecological disasters (e.g. oil spills) and the development of marine aquaristics. Rapid changes in the basic living conditions are dangerous for corals and their symbionts and may cause the unsuitability of the new environment resulting in diseases such as coral bleaching. Corals bleaching is a disease associated with the break of the coral and algae relationship which results in a coral reef death on a global scale. Awareness of these negative factors, often related to human activity, may allow us to better understand the ecological processes that are the basis of reef functioning and might enable us to prevent and oppose to the changes and ecological recessions of coral reefs.
Key words: coral reef, coral bleaching, Symbiodinium, zooxtanthellae