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International Conference on Climate Change Global Warming

Berlin, Germany
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Breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis: towards formalising a linkage between warm-water bleaching thresholds and the growth rate of the intracellular zooxanthellae

Author(s): Wooldridge SA

Abstract

Impairment of the photosynthetic machinery of the algal endosymbiont ("zooxanthellae") is the proximal driver of the thermal breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis ("coral bleaching"). Yet, the initial site of damage, and early dynamics of the impairment are still not well resolved. In this perspective essay, I consider further a recent hypothesis which proposes an energetic disruption to the carbon-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) of the coral host, and the resultant onset of CO2-limitation within the photosynthetic "dark reactions" as a unifying cellular mechanism.

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