Tanzanian Reef Building Corals May Succumb to Bleaching Events: Evidences from Coral-Symbiodinium Symbioses

  • Leonard Jones ChaukaEmail author
Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)


Coral reefs are among the most vulnerable ecosystems to current trends of climate change. Most of the reef systems along the coast of Tanzania have remained severely damaged following the 1997/1998 El-Niño that caused a massive coral bleaching, resulting into a wide spread of coral death. It is important therefore to find out/establish whether reef building corals develop adaptations to current trends of climate change so as to prioritise their conservation. There are evidences that coral-Symbiodinium-symbioses develop adaptation to current trends of climate change. This review therefore was meant to compare coral-Symbiodinium symbioses that occur along the Tanzanian coast with those occurring in others parts of the world. Like in most parts of the world, reef building corals along the Tanzanian coast are dominated by Symbiodinium clade C3 which is both thermal and irradiance intolerant. In the Tanzanian coast, coral genera that in most part of the world have been found to host clade D, the Symbiodinium type whose distribution is correlated with warmer environment, host other Symbiodinium clades. Unlike in most part of the world, most of Tanzania’s reef building corals lack polymorphic symbioses, a phenomenon that is hypothetically believed to render environmental tolerance to the holobiont. This is probably due to low seasonal variation in both temperature and solar radiations. Thus, Tanzanian corals become less advantaged in terms of impacts that may be associated with current trends of climate change.


Tanzanian coast Reef building coral Estuarine Coral bleaching Symbiodinium types Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine SciencesUniversity of Dar es SalaamZanzibarTanzania

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