Corals and algae provide different fuel for the sponge loop

Coral reefs are currently experiencing the largest global bleaching event on record, resulting in mass mortality of reef-building corals worldwide. Additional stressors, such as pollution and overfishing, are further damaging coral health. On many reefs this is causing reef-building corals to be replaced by fast-growing algae, a process called a “phase shift”. Since corals and algae exert different ecosystem effects, these phase-shifts disrupt the functioning of coral reef ecosystems. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)