Algae plays an important role in the health and sustainability of coral reefs. Coral reefs depend on algae for their primary source of food. Algae, through photosynthesis, produces carbohydrates and oxygen using sunlight and carbon dioxide, which are required by zooxanthellae, (tiny algae that live in the coral tissues), for food and survival. These zoosanthellae not only provide up to 90% of the coral's energy requirements, but they also contribute to their vibrant colors, which attract tourism and other critical marine resources. Moreover, algae helps maintain the balance of nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, which are important elements for growth, survival, and the overall health of coral reefs. Therefore, algae is vital to the survival of coral reefs, and any disruptions to the balance of this delicate ecosystem can lead to coral bleaching, disease, and ultimately death.
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