Home Off Beat Bacteria kill corals with algae’s help

Bacteria kill corals with algae’s help

dictyosphaeria credit jennifer smith

To add to the destruction of corals caused by humans, bacteria and algae join hands. A microbial mechanism is involved indirectly in the plundering process. In this mechanism, it is with the help of algae that bacteria kill coral, according to a study.

It is to help guide to conserve reefs, the study links the fields of microbiology with coral reef ecology tightly. First author Jennifer Smith, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara said,

Our study shows that bacteria are the front line that kill corals… Algae release sugar, fueling bacterial growth on the corals. These bacteria suffocate the coral by cutting off the supply of oxygen. Once the corals die, this frees more space for more algae to grow. We think this process sets up a positive feedback loop that accelerates the rate of decline in already damaged reef ecosystems.

Via: Science Daily