It occupies 0.1% of ocean surface by houses at least 25% of all marine species.(Representational image)
Hyderabad: A study conducted by two premier institutes on oceanography has confirmed the role of thermal stress in the bleaching of coral reefs in North Bay Andaman Islands.
Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. These are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Researchers claim that these marine life hubs are getting impacted due to human and natural impact.
According to a survey conducted by scientist from city-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
"An increase of even one or two degree centigrade above monthly mean temperature can damage the symbiosis between coral and algae. If the algae leaves the shelter of the coral polyp, and the corals leave their access to algal photosynthetic byproducts, it will leads to the bleaching of corals," observed researchers, who include INCOIS scientist Dr R.S. Mahendra and others from NIOT Chennai and Port Blair.
These findings have been published in January 2017 edition of American Journal of Environmental Protection. Earlier, INCOIS had started Coral Bleaching Alert System using satellite data. Ocean researchers say that bleaching has been initiated as weather predictions of the various agencies have suggested the elevated temperatures in the Indian subcontinent this year.
The bleaching of corals in the Andaman region might intensify further unless the temperature drops, opined the scientists. INCOIS used an in-situ observation at Andaman Islands to prove the effectiveness of satellite-based remote sensing analysis.
Scientists from INCOIS and NIOT feel that results will be useful for the coastal management authority for taking suitable measures and draft newer polices to protect the coral eco-system, which occupy less than 0.1 per cent of the world's ocean surface, but provides a home for at least 25 per cent of all marine species.