Green algae killing corals

Coral reefs are suffering from toxic algae chemical weapons last, appeared to protect against eating fish was absolutely deadly to corals.

"Attack of the killer seaweed" — that could be called a third-kinouzhas some, but for the coral islands of Fiji are not staged, but, unfortunately, the harsh reality. Large algae killing corals in one touch, and the only way out for them may be the fish that eat these poisonous killers.

Over the past decade in many tropical coral reefs occurred peculiar change of power: it ceased to dominate the corals and algae prevail. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) decided to find out how the latter managed to achieve this privileged position in reef ecosystems. To do this, they took the eight species of algae and apply them one by one to three types of coral reefs inhabit Fijian. As the researchers report in the journal PNAS, 79% of cases the contact is ended tragically for corals: they bleached, lost the ability to photosynthesize and died. That's right: enough of a touch of seaweed.

From the tissues of red algae and green Galaxaura filamentosa Chlorodesmis fastigiata scientists managed to highlight the "chemical agents." They were terpenes: the red algae — loliolidy monoterpenes, the green — acetylated derivatives diterpenes. The researchers say that the different algae have different toxicity and the most evil was Chlorodesmis fastigiata, or "tortoise grass." It is unlikely that the algae create their chemical weapons against coral with toxic terpenes needed them in order to protect themselves from the fish. In fact, most species of fish ignores these algae, except chimeras.

Where they will give a complete, algae take up 60% of the floor and, if left unchecked, it can generally displace corals. So to the general problems of coral reefs, such as warming and water pollution and heavy fishing, is added and the war against algae aggressor. Prospects for coral APB. And when you consider that the reef ecosystem is kept still on the corals, not toxic algae, the danger is a huge number of species. In order to soften the pressure of algae, environmentalists offer care of the few fish species that transcend their toxicity: they might be able to protect corals from deadly chemical attacks …

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