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Literature Review on the Effects of Pollution on Marine Organisms Published

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — The 2018 literature review on the Effects of Pollution on Marine Organisms, authored by three OR&R scientists and partners, has been published in the October 2019 issue of Water Environment Research.

Thousands of journal papers are published annually on the effects of pollutants on marine organisms. This review covers approximately 200 selected journal papers on ecological effects of oil spills (Nicolle Rutherford) and toxicity of oil and dispersants (Matt Bissell) as well as effects of Marine Debris (Courtney Arthur, Industrial Economics Inc.), other polluting activities including dredging, dumping, fisheries and aquaculture impacts, light and acoustic pollution, (Michelle Ann Morrison, Exponent Inc.) and biomarkers (Mary Ann Remple-Hester, Aquatic Toxicology Support). Focus is on effects, not sources, fate, or transport) and it is intended to be an entree into current literature, not a thorough review of all that was published in 2018. The paper includes a memoriam to the late Dr. Donald J. Reish who started this annual review over 50 years ago. It also acknowledges the valuable assistance of two NOAA Librarians, Brian Voss of the Seattle NOAA Library and Clara Salazar of the NOAA Montlake Fisheries Library.

The review article is one of many topical reviews in the October issue of Water Environment Research. All are free access at  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/15547531/2019/91/10

For further information, contact [email protected] .

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Marine Debris Pollution in the Pacific : Literature review

Climate change resilience, island and ocean ecosystems, waste management and pollution control.


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Literature Review On Ocean Pollution

The ocean pollution.

I'm in the ocean every day, it’s my second home. Because of this, I am very sensitive to literary and other pollution that ends up in our oceans. I can't walk down the beach today without seeing a pile of trash. Because of this curiosity, I wanted to research what another type of litter fill our local ocean. Our ocean is filthy, Plastics and fibers make their way into the sea naturally every day. Apart from the rest of the trash, some of these plastics and fibers are microscopic, coining the term microfibers or microplastics. This problem is getting worse. Much like global warming in the past, this problem is not clearly obvious. As a society, we have made numerous efforts to begin to clean up our oceans and beaches, but our tiny particle problem still goes undetected, unevaluated, and unresolved for most of the world's population. So we will probably ask how are they getting there?

Ocean Pollution Causes

When looking at the ocean pollution caused by people it impacts animals and ourselves as humans. For many years, the unregulated dumping of chemicals, toxins and other waste directly into lakes, rivers, streams and oceans triggered disease and other risks to humans and wildlife(Calhoun 89). This can affect

The Effects Of Ocean Pollution On The Marine Ecosystem

Ocean pollution comes in many forms with each having some sort of effect on the marine ecosystem. Ocean pollution is destroying earth 's waters, because its killing populations of organisms in the water all over the ocean, Its destroying coral reefs and water is being contaminated with oil,garbage and chemicals.Which in turn is destroying organisms all over the ocean. For the purpose of this paper, it will be logical to categorize these pollutants into three main areas; garbage, chemical, and noise pollution. When thinking about these topics it is not only important to look at the devastation that it brings to sea life, but also how it impacts human and animal life as well.

Ocean Pollution And Its Effects On The Ocean

Can you predict the outcome of food or medicine resources if ocean pollution is not prevented or minimized? Throughout this research paper the different categories of pollution will be explained more in depth. Also there will be ideas or things we can all do to minimize ocean pollution and stop causing so much stress to the ocean’s ecosystem. It will also specify the importance of minimizing pollution in the ocean and how much damage it can cause. The ocean 's ecosystem is under much stress and many sources of pollution that is causing much harm.

Pollution Of The Ocean Pollution

Pollution of the ocean is widely seen all around. The litter comes in so many very different forms that are almost terrifying. It ranges from a cigarette to a 4,000-pound fishing net (Franc, 2013). Medical waste such as needles were even noticed in New York and New Jersey in 1988. The world’s merchant shipping fleet in 1975 was blamed for 85% of 14 billion pounds of garbage dumped into the sea (Amaral, n.d.). Out of all of the garbage and waste in the ocean it is said that more than 80% of the garbage in the ocean comes from land alone (Mosbergen, 2017). In just one hour, nine minutes, and 44 seconds, a very large number of 2,877,783 pounds of plastic has entered the ocean (Leeson & Elliot, 2016). Today after all of the dumping that goes on there are over 25 trillion pieces of plastic inside of the ocean. While that is a large number, only 269,000 tons can be seen afloat the water (“Ocean Pollution: 14 Facts that will Blow Your Mind,” 2017). The easier way of explaining just how much waste enters our ocean would be just to say “too much,” but to be exact, in 2007 2.12 billion tons of garbage enter the ocean and just three years later in 2010, 215 million metric tons of plastic entered the ocean (Lonne, 2016). In 2006 the United Nations Environment Program did an experiment on how much plastic there was every square mile of the ocean. They ended up estimating about 46,000 pieces of plastic every square mile (“Facts and Figures on Marine Pollution,” 2017). In the Northern Pacific Ocean lies the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is said to be about seven million square miles (“Marine Debris Impacts,” n.d.). Plastic accounts for about 70% of all the litter in the ocean and can take a very short time or a very long time

Urban Runoff Is The Primary Source Of Ocean Pollution

The oceans need to be protected because it is where life began and if not taken care of, life as we know it will end. The well-being of the ocean is constantly being threatened and needs to stop. When dangerous substances go into the ocean, ecosystems suffer and become endangered along with the lives of people and marine life. The importance of protecting and preserving the quality and biodiversity of the world 's coasts must be recognized because they are truly irreplaceable. If humans are not educated , and become careless about what is thrown on the ground or sprayed on lawns, disastrous effects follow when it comes to the condition of the ocean’s ecosystems, which can endanger life itself, leading to a problem only we can correct. There is historical evidence of ocean pollution, although the problem still shadows us today.

The Pollution Of The Oceans

The oceans face many types of pollution every day, every second. The ocean is our greatest ecosystem and out most valuable resource. A common misconception is that the rainforests are the lungs of the planet however, the majority of our oxygen is made via the algae in the sea. The oceans feeds, hydrates, and provides us with oxygen; ironically enough, despite its monetary value to mankind, it is what is treated the worst. For ages we have been dumping our trash, chemicals, and waste into the oceans with no fear or regret, almost an “out of sight- out of mind” mentality. People once and still assume that the oceans are so vast that all of the pollution is diluted and would be dispersed through out, going unnoticed. However, dilution is a myth and an idea that renders ocean dumping to be less impactful. Even so much of the man made pollution is becoming even more concentrated and have entered our natural food chain. However vast the waters of the ocean are, they are not meant to house all of these external factors. There are many alternatives to marine pollution including recycling, finding alternative trash dump sites, cutting down on harmful chemicals for agriculture, and most importantly having the ability to recognize when a problem is developing and counter act, immediately.

Marine Pollution: Causes and Solutions Essay

As the world develops and the human population grows there is more pollution being dumped into the oceans, causing major problems to marine life and ecosystems. Major causes of marine pollution involve non-point pollutants, marine garbage, toxic ocean pollutants and sewage disposal in oceans. From heavy metal poisoning including lead and mercury killing predators such as sharks and whales, to waste getting trapped in the digestive tracts of marine animals, this essay focuses on how human interference causes horrifying problems to the marine life, but also how to fix it. It will also explore the normal activities of people including farming and how this can cause an imbalance in an ecosystem. Everyday activities can cause massive nutrient

Ocean Pollution In The Ocean

Ocean pollution is one of the most urgent issues in our world today. The ocean is crucial to our ecosystem and it is being severely damaged at an alarmingly increasing rate. In this paper I will educate about the role the ocean plays in our beautiful Earth, why it is being so widely ignored and dismissed, the causes of pollution, and its effects on animals and humans alike.

Summary Of Ocean Pollution

This article, “Oceans of Pollution” is written by Dahr Jamail. He presents this article with many details to support his argument. Two main topics with support are used, which is how plastic is causing a great pollution affecting the fertility rates of the fish because fish can ingest tiny sizes of plastic therefore harming the creatures. As well, another topic in this article is the dead zone affecting the ocean, caused by natural environment, climate changing the temperature and human factors. This article mainly presents this article to the government to suggest for change and to humans, many who are biologists, who care about this huge problem. With the intensity of the ocean’s pollution, the article uses three rhetorical topics, pathos,

Issue Of Ocean Pollution

A huge problem faced today in the world today is the on going issue of ocean pollution. In fact, over 1.4 billion pounds of waste is dumped into the ocean every year. Although our oceans have been polluted for thousands of years, researchers say that in the past few centuries’ pollution has risen at an alarming rate. Between trash, chemical waste, sewage, and oil spills, ocean ecosystems have seen a serious decline in habitat and wildlife. The next ten years will be very important for cleaning up our oceans and sustaining wildlife and plant life in the pelagic zones.

Ocean Pollution Research Paper

As instructed in class, this proposal is written in response to the proposal requests for environmental innovations in CCDP2100. Team OPC is seeking approval from you, Dr. Marlene Lundy, to continue working on our innovation that would tackle the pollution crisis in the ocean. In the following sections of the memo, background information to the problem, technical aspects of the innovation, and the proposed timeline of the project will be discussed.

Polluting The Ocean Research Paper

People are polluting the ocean in many ways, and we need to make the ocean healthier. In 2010, 192 countries bordering the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean and Black seas produced 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste, and within that, 275 million metric tons is plastic waste. Two billion people within 30 miles of the coast create 100 million metric tons of coastal plastic waste. An estimated eight million tons of plastic entered the ocean that same year. Also, every year, eight million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean. Because of all this trash, ocean and sea animals are losing their healthy habitat. They could get trapped in six-pack rings, mistake solid waste for food and eat it and die, or could get harmed or

The Effects Of Ocean Pollution On The Ocean

The chemicals from Industries can quite harmful depending on what 's flowing into the water. Releasing toxic liquids directly into the water affects marine life as is, but it can also change the temperature of the water, also known as thermal pollution causing animals and plants that can 't handle that temperature to eventually die. Land run off usually happens when rain or perhaps a flood carry a harmful pollutants, which include fertilizers, petroleum, and waste from animals. One of the major sources of ocean pollution would be oil spills that can come from Ships. However, oil is not only extremely toxic, but it is very difficult to clean up. Unfortunately when there is a spill people may try to clean it up as best as they can, but a good amount will stay. Ocean mining can be extremely harmful to the ocean. They use ocean mining to drill for silver, gold, copper, cobalt and zinc, however in doing so they create sulfide deposits deep down in the ocean causing long term effects to the area. Finally, littering is another huge source of ocean pollution. Such things can include debris, especially plastic, which never goes away.

We have an environmental responsibility as humans. Getting to live on earth is a privilege and we are responsible for keeping our planet clean. We are also responsible for preserving the planet and its resources for as long as possible. As we take the resources given to us, it is our duty to help out where we live and give back to the environment in return. To help keep the planet in great shape consists of some easy tasks that anyone could do, and even the smallest thing could help impact the environment in a positive way.

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literature review on marine pollution

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Marine Pollution

Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash, most of which comes from land sources and is washed or blown into the ocean. This pollution results in damage to the environment, to the health of all organisms, and to economic structures worldwide.

Biology, Ecology, Earth Science, Oceanography

Water Pollution

Pollutants are dumped into the ocean. This waste affects the daily life of fish and other marine creatures.


Pollutants are dumped into the ocean. This waste affects the daily life of fish and other marine creatures.

Marine pollution is a growing problem in today’s world. Our ocean is being flooded with two main types of pollution: chemicals and trash.

Chemical contamination, or nutrient pollution, is concerning for health, environmental, and economic reasons. This type of pollution occurs when human activities, notably the use of fertilizer on farms, lead to the runoff of chemicals into waterways that ultimately flow into the ocean. The increased concentration of chemicals, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, in the coastal ocean promotes the growth of algal blooms , which can be toxic to wildlife and harmful to humans. The negative effects on health and the environment caused by algal blooms hurt local fishing and tourism industries.

Marine trash encompasses all manufactured products—most of them plastic —that end up in the ocean. Littering, storm winds, and poor waste management all contribute to the accumulation of this debris , 80 percent of which comes from sources on land. Common types of marine debris include various plastic items like shopping bags and beverage bottles, along with cigarette butts, bottle caps, food wrappers, and fishing gear. Plastic waste is particularly problematic as a pollutant because it is so long-lasting. Plastic items can take hundreds of years to decompose.

This trash poses dangers to both humans and animals. Fish become tangled and injured in the debris , and some animals mistake items like plastic bags for food and eat them. Small organisms feed on tiny bits of broken-down plastic , called micro plastic , and absorb the chemicals from the plastic into their tissues. Micro plastics are less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter and have been detected in a range of marine species, including plankton and whales. When small organisms that consume micro plastics are eaten by larger animals, the toxic chemicals then become part of their tissues. In this way, the micro plastic pollution migrates up the food chain , eventually becoming part of the food that humans eat.

Solutions for marine pollution include prevention and cleanup. Disposable and single-use plastic is abundantly used in today’s society, from shopping bags to shipping packaging to plastic bottles. Changing society’s approach to plastic use will be a long and economically challenging process. Cleanup, in contrast, may be impossible for some items. Many types of debris (including some plastics ) do not float, so they are lost deep in the ocean. Plastics that do float tend to collect in large “patches” in ocean gyres. The Pacific Garbage Patch is one example of such a collection, with plastics and micro plastics floating on and below the surface of swirling ocean currents between California and Hawaii in an area of about 1.6 million square kilometers (617,763 square miles), although its size is not fixed. These patches are less like islands of trash and, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, more like flecks of micro plastic pepper swirling around an ocean soup. Even some promising solutions are inadequate for combating marine pollution. So-called “ biodegradable ” plastics often break down only at temperatures higher than will ever be reached in the ocean.

Nonetheless, many countries are taking action. According to a 2018 report from the United Nations, more than sixty countries have enacted regulations to limit or ban the use of disposable plastic items.

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literature review on marine pollution

Literature Review Of Water Pollution

Water pollution in indiana.

Water pollution has been one of the biggest ecological issues in the United States for many years. Although there are many efforts that are working to improve this ongoing problem, the situation still is the biggest ecological issue facing America. Indiana, one of the most polluted states, houses many heavily polluted rivers, including the Wabash River, White River, Eel River, Eagle Creek, and Patoka. The White River, the most polluted among Indiana’s rivers, runs through the center of Indianapolis. White River pollution is the greatest ecological problem in Indiana because of its detrimental effects on wildlife, drinking water, and the environment.

Houston Water Quality Research Paper

According to Forbes Magazine Houston, Texas is known for being one of the dirtiest cities within the United States. When I was conducting research on the city’s water quality, I was surprised to learn how well the city really does take care of their water supply. Contradictory to what I first thought, Houston actually has average or normal amounts of contaminates; their scores were all passing for pollutes found in their drinking water and in fact is one of the best water supplies in the Unites States.. Overall the city also seems to care more about their water safety than what I assumed too, given “providing safe and reliable drinking water is their highest priority.”(1) On

Annotated Bibliography For Environmental Pollution

The earth is surrounded with oceans, oceans covers around 70% of the earth. With this number of oceans, all of it is effect by pollution. Many animals that lives inside these oceans are effected from this pollution. Not only the animals but also people, that may cause death to some people and to some animals, some animals are extinct because of the pollution. Humans are the reasonable behind all of this pollution. But as us humans, we don’t like to blame ourselves or realize that what we are doing is wrong and it going to affect badly to these animals and people. People are throwing trash into the sea like plastic bags, bottle of empty soda, and more

Two Types Of Ocean Pollution

“At this rate, we would expect nearly one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in our oceans by 2025,” says Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy marine debris program. Ocean pollution is a very evident problem. There are two types of pollution, nonpoint source pollution, and point source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is pollution that is a result of runoff, which comes from smaller sources and point source pollution is pollution coming from a single source, such as an oil spill. Point source pollution has a larger impact on the ocean compared to nonpoint source pollution but thankfully it occurs less. The ocean covers more than 70% of the earth 's surface and the Atlantic ocean is the second largest ocean following the

Summary: Waste Water Pollutes The Chesapeake Bay

Wastewater contributes about the third most nitrogen and phosphorus that pollutes the Chesapeake Bay. Wastewater comes from sewage treatment plants, which are point sources. Several factories and power plants also release pollutants into the water. They also release chemicals into the air, where they can fall down onto the bay and affect the organisms.

Daphnia Magna Experiment

Water pollution is a very prevalent problem throughout the world. It affects ecosystems, deters the natural food chain, and can cause disease in both animals and humans. But is water pollution affecting natural lakes and ponds in local areas? In this experiment, Daphnia magna will be used in a bioassay to find if water from local areas is habitable for aquatic organisms.

Water Problem In Singapore Water Pollution

Singapore gained independence on 9th August in 1965 from the merger with Malaysia. After its separation from Malaysia, Singapore faces major problem in many areas. Singapore is a small island of area size of 718.3km square. Given her limited land capacity, Singapore face a severe lack of natural resources such as water. In the ’60s and ’70s, Singapore was heavily reliant on imported water from Malaysia and faced urbanisation challenges such as polluted rivers, water shortages and widespread flooding.

The Importance Of Water Pollution In The United States

The life of many people in the United States might seem free of polluted waters but if people really focus on their surroundings, they would find out that pollution is everywhere and it affects every community in some way. Government should regulate the way industries treat water sources around the country because all of the major manufacturing companies focus on getting big profits but the issue of water pollution is neglected and treated as a secondary priority, when it should be the first priority for everyone.

Human Pollution's Effect On The Environment

What is the most significant effect that people have on the environment? The most significant effect that people have on the environment is human pollution. Human pollution has a great impact on you. When I talk about Human pollution there are reasons that could go with it, like Food Production, Water Resource Management, and Energy. Many people may think that having more resources in one place would be better but however if there were equal resources everywhere everyone would be able to survive equally. However no one barely notices that human pollution is a thing but it is a big part of our lives.

The Effects Of Water Pollution In China

Water pollution is an epidemic in China. Most of the pollution comes from companies that try to recycle the waste, but all they end up doing is more harm to the environment. China recycles everything from plastic to electronic parts. More cancer is popping up in villages due to the contaminated water. From the water they drink to the water they use to wash their clothes, all of it has harsh chemicals in it. China takes in so much trash that they don’t know what to do with it. Thus, it has resulted in people recycling electronic waste to get money. Electronic waste is defined as, “old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, fridges etc which have been disposed of by their original users.” Even though the way they recycle the electronic waste is dangerous to the environment and to everyone’s health; they still chose to do it. With there being money to be made with the electronic waste. The water issue is so bad that farmers don’t want to eat the rice they grow because they know of the water pollution. People don 't see pollution in it’s full effect until it is too late to change.

Causes Of Water Pollution

Surface water includes water bodies on the earth 's crust such as well, river, lake, pond, stream, ocean. The water we use for our daily purposes and supplied by the municipalities mostly includes surface water primarily from river catchments. Water for agriculture is taken from rivers; it used to be taken from wells also but now it has shifted to bore wells mostly. Pollution refers to the presence of foreign matter in the resource which degrades the quality of the resource and may cause harm to the consumers.

Essay On Pollution In Sydney Beaches

One of the biggest sources of pollution is called nonpoint pollution, which occurs as a result of runoff. These sources are septic tanks, cars, trucks, boats plus larger sources such as farms and forest

Water Pollution In China Essay

The other source of water pollution is the industry, in particular textiles and electronics. As it is pointed out by the available data at the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs as it has been with the power of generation – a lack of regulations and enforcements together with inefficient use of water resources has been damaging the water quality and diminishing its availability for agricultural activities. A domino effect has been seen in water pollution which has had an impact on

Water Pollution Speech

Life is dependent on water, and without water no form of life can survive. But it is hard to believe that even after knowing such a fundamental truth, how people can turn a blind eye to water pollution. Every year thousands and thousands of people, especially children, fall prey to water-borne diseases, and nearly half of them die. Water pollution is a serious issue as not only is water the most precious natural resource, but all sources of water support life that is very necessary for the survival of the planet.

Solution Of Water Pollution

Water is the most important component found on the surface of the earth because it is source of life for living creatures. However, water pollution has become a global concern. Water pollution can have several forms from diverse sources. It is expected that there will be a lack of clean water in next few decades due to pollution. Nile river water in Egypt is the focus of attention of many studies due to many reasons. The first reason is because it is water used by over 13 million inhabitants in Cairo, as well as, other cities. The second reason is that, the Nile is the longest river in the world, flowing northward from its source in Tanzania to its outlet in the Mediterranean Sea, a distance of 6695 km. The Nile water source is tainted by pesticides, sewage, nutrients, and heavy metals. One of the most important causes of Nile contamination is discharging of industrial facilities (Mohamed et al., 1998). Factory waste contains heavy metals such as, Zinc (Zn), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) and Copper (Cu), which cause toxicity. In this essay, the discussion will point to Nile contamination as a controversial issue and highlight some health problems which occur as consequences of using polluted water in Egypt. Likewise, the essay will raise some scientific methods to determine the percentage of heavy metal in water supported by example. Then it will suggest some chemical technical solutions to reduce the percentage of heavy metals in Nile and reuse it again for many purposes.

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Aquatic Procedia

Coastal pollution: a review ☆.

The harmful effects of various substances on the marine environment were reviewed by collecting and studying the relevant literature. Various sources for the pollution of marine environment were identified and the causes for the same are understood. Many of the pollutants that are let into the sea are directly or indirectly by human activities. Some of these substances are biodegradable, while some are not. Several laws and policies have been taken in preventing marine pollution at the national and international levels. Simulation of oil spills has been done by developing models in some parts of the world. The pollution off the shore is increasing at an alarming rate and to address this problem of pollution in the oceans is a difficult task, and a variety of approaches are urgently required. In this paper, the definition of coastal pollution, causes of coastal pollution, its impacts and preventive measures are discussed.

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Peer-review under responsibility of organizing committee of ICWRCOE 2015.

A review of marine pollution issues in the Caribbean

Environmental Geochemistry and Health volume  19 ,  pages 45–55 ( 1997 ) Cite this article

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Marine pollution and coastal degradation have become serious development issues in the Caribbean. Early evidence of marine pollution was mainly anecdotal, but within the last 10--15 years, work conducted by universities and research institutions in the Region has provided the beginnings of a database that identifies several common marine pollution problems. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Pan American World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have also been instrumental in co-ordinating several marine pollution studies. In the English-speaking Caribbean, the University of the West Indies, the Institute of Marine Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute located in St Lucia, have taken a lead role in identifying marine pollution problems in their Sub-Region. For the Wider Caribbean a database for petroleum pollution and marine debris has been developed. Land-based sources of marine pollution have been identified as a major problem, with several ‘hot spots’ identified in mainland countries and in some of the larger industrialised islands. Organic and nutrient pollution, particularly from sewage, is most widespread and is possibly the most serious marine pollution problem in the Caribbean. A lack of capital investment funds to install the appropriate infrastructure to deal with sewage and other liquid effluents is a major stumbling block to solving the problem of marine pollution in the Caribbean. Other factors include political will and administrative and legal structures to regulate human development activities.

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Siung-Chang, A. A review of marine pollution issues in the Caribbean. Environmental Geochemistry and Health 19 , 45–55 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018438119034

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Home > Undergraduate Research > SRC > 2017 > 4

20th Annual Georgia College Student Research Conference

20th Annual Georgia College Student Research Conference

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Literature Review of Coral Bleaching from an Ecological Perspective

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Amanda N. Brewer , Georgia College and State University Follow

Allison VandeVoort

Coral reefs are home to many marine species, some of which are used for medical research, and protect shorelines from waves, storms, and flooding. Coral reef bleaching is the loss of color and life across an otherwise colorful and productive coral reef. This is caused by the loss of a symbiotic relationship with a special type of algae: Zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae are dinoflagellates belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. They are closely connected to hermatypic reef building corals. Photosynthetic zooxanthellae provide their host corals with photosynthates and sugars, while the host provides structure and nutrients to provide ample starting materials for photosynthesis. When ocean temperatures rise, corals become stressed and release zooxanthellae living in their tissues. If these symbionts are not reabsorbed quickly, the coral will die. Coral reef bleaching was first observed in 1870, but is becoming a more frequent and severe issue. On smaller scales, environmental stressors causing coral bleaching include changes in temperature, light, salinity, sedimentation, disease and pollution. Wide-scale bleaching events are linked to global climate change causing ocean warming and acidification. If global climate change continues at the current rate, coral reefs will suffer. In order to protect reefs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is involved in monitoring reef vulnerability via satellites, and it supports legal change to create protected reef areas and control ocean pollution. The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanisms behind coral bleaching, the causes of coral bleaching, and what can be done to prevent further coral bleaching.

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