Zooxanthellae and Coral Bleaching

Tiny plant-like organisms called zooxanthellae live in the tissues of many animals, including some corals, anemones, and jellyfish, sponges, flatworms, mollusks and foraminifera. These microscopic algae capture sunlight and convert it into energy, just like plants, to provide essential nutrients to the corals. In exchange, they have a place to live inside the animal's body. But when the zooxanthellae are under stress, such as high temperatures, they will die or leave their host—a process known as bleaching.

The brownish-green specks are the zooxanthellae that most shallow, warm-water corals depend on for much of their food.

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Submitted by sriram (not verified) on

please don't cause stress to zooxanthellae and don't pave way to coral bleaching!

Submitted by Jordan (not verified) on

It is sad to see that the beautiful organism called zooxanthellae which coexists with and brings colour to coral is being threatened by humans who of coarse are increasingly developing and producing emissions that decrease water quality in the ocean and therefore threaten the livability of these vital organisms. Shame on humans!

Submitted by Bogg (not verified) on

Shame on you for preaching, but then using resources that may cause problems -whether it is a lot or a little.

Submitted by James (not verified) on


Submitted by Melony (not verified) on

This website page really helped me with my project for school. I am so interested in coral reefs and was wondering how coral was made, when I came across the word "zooxanthellae". This really helped me understand more of what this zooxanthellae is. Thanks!