1 February 2022.
The scientists have recently discovered a coral reef along the coast of Tahiti. The reef is two miles long and is unaffected by anthropogenic activities and climate change.
About the coral reef
- The coral reef was discovered during a dive expedition.
- The expedition was supported by UNESCO.
- The corals discovered were six feet in diameter.
- The scientists have witnessed coral spawning in the island.
Corals found in Mesophotic zone
- The coral reefs were discovered at a depth of 100 feet to 210 feet.
- This is a bit deeper.
- That is, the corals were found in the mesophotic zone.
- These are the deepest zones till which the sunlight can penetrate.
- This depth protects the corals from human activities.
Not affected by Coral Bleaching
- In 2019, the entire French Coral Polynesia was affected by coral bleaching.
- The coral bleaching occurred due to climate change and global warming.
- However, this new coral reef was not affected by the 2019 coral bleaching.
- This is mainly due to its depth.
What is coral bleaching?
- The corals are marine invertebrates. They hold microscopic algae are zooxanthellae.
- The algae provides food for the corals and the corals provide accommodation to the algae.
- They are symbiotic.
- Due to global warming and increase in sea temperature, the corals find it difficult to hold the algae.
- They release them.
- The corals get their colours from these algae.
- When the algae is released they become colourless.
- This is called coral bleaching.
- With this, the corals die as they do not get food.
What is Coral spawning witnessed in the reef?
- Coral spawning is a natural phenomenon.
- During coral spawning, multiple species of corals release their eggs and sperms.
- They float to the surface of the ocean, fertilise and form new larvae.
- The synchronisation occurs after the new moon day.
- Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia.
- It is located in the central Pacific Ocean.
- Tahiti was formed by volcanic activity.
- The island accounts to around 70% of the population of French Polynesia.