(ORDO NEWS) — Maintaining water transparency in coral reefs is fundamental to protecting biodiversity and preventing reef degradation.
“Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth,” explains Thomas Lopez-Londoño, a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study.
“To better understand this diversity, we looked at the role of sunlight in the symbiotic relationship between corals and algae that ensures their survival and oxygen supply.
We found that the intensity of underwater light plays a critical role in the energy expenditure of coral symbiotic algae to maintain their photosynthetic activity.”
This was found out using a model – corals grown in an aquarium. The conditions simulated the depth and different levels of sunlight, and as a result, the scientists developed a mathematical model that describes the relationship between the available solar energy for algae and species diversity.
The results show that a highly productive underwater environment with abundant access to sunlight significantly reduces the risk of species extinction due to population and ecological changes.
In this regard, scientists propose a new tactic for the conservation of corals, based on the control of water transparency and its purification.
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