What Is Coral? A Coral Polyp and Zooxanthellae | Smithsonian Ocean
The corals couldn't survive without these microscopic algae–called zooxanthellae (zo-zan-THELL-ee). This cutaway diagram of a coral polyp shows where the. The zooxanthellae consume the waste products of the coral and turn the waste into Clown fish and Anemones also exhibit mutualism. diversity of coral reef fishes and the health of coral reefs and . plankton. The total contribution of symbiotic zooxanthellae to the energy budget of the reef is several times higher than phyto- . The precise trophic relationships between produc-.
Click the image for a larger view of these cells.
Most reef-building corals contain photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae, that live in their tissues. The corals and algae have a mutualistic relationship.
The coral provides the algae with a protected environment and compounds they need for photosynthesis.
In return, the algae produce oxygen and help the coral to remove wastes. Most importantly, zooxanthellae supply the coral with glucose, glycerol, and amino acids, which are the products of photosynthesis. The coral uses these products to make proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and produce calcium carbonate Barnes, R. The relationship between the algae and coral polyp facilitates a tight recycling of nutrients in nutrient-poor tropical waters.
Symbiotic Relationship Between Butterfly Fish and Coral & by Noelle Stone on Prezi
In fact, as much as 90 percent of the organic material photosynthetically produced by the zooxanthellae is transferred to the host coral tissue Sumich, This is the driving force behind the growth and productivity of coral reefs Barnes, ; Levinton, Coral polyps, which are animals, and zooxanthellae, the plant cells that live within them, have a mutualistic relationship.
Click the image to see an animation.Zooxanthellae clades and coral reefs
In turn, the zooxanthellae is provided with the carbon dioxide expelled by the polyp that it needs to undergo photosynthesis. The presence of the zooxanthellae also provide colored pigments to help protect the coral's white skeleton from sunlight. This is a mutual symbiotic relationship that is beneficially to both participants.
Using the coral skeleton as a place to anchor, these sessile, or stationary, organisms provide shelter for fish shrimp, crabs and other small animals.
Symbiotic Relationships in Coral Reefs | Sciencing
In both cases, the symbiosis is commensal. Sciencing Video Vault Sea anemones are also common sessile residents of coral reef. Sea anemones are known for their mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with clown fish and anemone fish. The tentacles of the anemones provide protection for the fish and their eggs while the anemone fish protects the anemone from predators such as the butterfly fish.
They may also remove parasites from the anemone's tentacles. Crown-of-thorns sea stars are well-known predators of coral reefs and have been known to devastate entire coral reef colonies.