Endolithic algae within corals - life in an extreme environment

N. Shashar, N. Stambler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Endolithic algae living inside skeletons of living corals are exposed to very low light intensities. Assays carried out on the coral Porites compressa revealed drastic diurnal fluctuations in pH and O2 levels within the skeleton, dominated mainly by coral photosynthesis by day and respiration at night. Enzymatic activity of carbonic anhydrase and catalase, as well as photosynthetic adaptations to low light level and low metabolic activity rates, enable the algae to grow in this unique habitat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Coral
  • Endolithic alga


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