Coral Bleaching: The Roles of Sea Temperature and Solar Radiation

Barbara E. Brown, Richard P. Dunne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

17 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter illustrates the importance of solar radiation as a major factor in the bleaching of corals when sea temperatures are elevated, as well as acting alone at normal temperature. It looks at the way temperature and solar radiation combine to elicit bleaching and examines the different roles that each may play in the bleaching process. The chapter addresses a common trend in many publications that downplay the role of solar radiation in mass bleaching events and proposes that a better mechanistic understanding improves not only the appreciation of the process but also the ability of the coral symbiosis to adjust its physiology in the future. One of the main findings of work described in the chapter is the high level of oxidative damage caused by exposure of corals to high solar radiation and the initiation of significant antioxidant activity by corals under such conditions, together with stress protein production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiseases of Coral
Subtitle of host publicationWoodley/Diseases of Coral
EditorsCheryl M. Woodley, Craig A. Downs, Andrew W. Bruckner, James W. Porter, Sylvia B. Galloway
PublisherWILEY Publications
ISBN (Electronic)9781118828502
ISBN (Print)9780813824116
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2015


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