Repeat coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures has resulted in lasting changes to fish communities, according to a new long-term study in the Seychelles. Large predator fish such as snappers and very small fish such as damselfish dramatically reduced in number and were largely replaced by seaweed-loving fish like rabbitfish. Publishing in the journal Global Change Biology , researchers show clear evidence that coral bleaching back in has led to changes in biodiversity and permanent shifts in the range of fish species coexisting on coral reefs, which still remain in place today. While some of the coral reefs surveyed, bounced back and recovered following the bleaching event, other reefs shifted to fields of seaweeds.
Coral bleaching - Wikipedia
The gradual loss of a coral reef environment is further exacerbated when excess algae growth leads to increased levels of disease and the secretion of excess nutrients Hughes, Besides algae growth, some species of sponge growing on coral reefs will smother reefs as well Hughes, Without the presence of a predator, the removal of angelfish, parrotfish and surgeon fish allows sponges to grow. Grouper fish, are damselfish's natural predator. The diminishing population of grouper fish is causing the health of coral reef environments to decline Harris,
Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. Normally, coral polyps live in an endosymbiotic relationship with these algae, which are crucial for the health of the coral and the reef. Bleached corals continue to live but begin to starve after bleaching. The leading cause of coral bleaching is rising water temperatures.
Coral Bleaching Abstract Coral reefs have been called the rainforests of the ocean and are one of the most diverse and important ecosystems on the planet. This paper will explore how global warming has effected these fragile ecosystems. It will focus on the impact of increasing ocean temperatures on coral reefs. Coral Reefs Coral reefs exist globally from 30N to 30S latitude and have existed in some form on Earth for over million years. Over species of coral have been identified.