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Koraller och dinoflagellater — ett marint partnerskap

Corals and zooxanthellae — a marine partnership
  • Lars Olof Björn
  • Nils G.A. Ekelund
Publishing year: 2006
Language: Swedish
Pages: 263-270
Publication/Series: Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift
Volume: 100
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Svenska Botaniska Föreningen

Abstract english

Most reef-building corals live in partnership with so-called zooxanthellae in a mutually dependent way. Zooxanthellae are unicellular algae (dinoflagellates) inside the coral polyps, and by their photosynthesis they contribute to the sustenance of the coral.

Corals already existed during the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago, bu these were very different from today's reef-building species. The scleractinians or stony star corals, the main structural component in modern reefs, did not appear until after the great end-Permian extinction 261 million years ago. The dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium, which forms the symbiosis with the corals, also stems from this time.

The coral reefs of the world, the marine ecosystems with the highest biological diversity, are now endangered due to coastal "development", oil spills and other local pollution, acidification due to atmospheric carbon dioxide increase, and climate change.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Popular science
  • Photobiology-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 0039-646X
Lars Olof Björn
E-mail: lars_olof [dot] bjorn [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 72 53