Around a third of all reef-building corals are now believed to be threatened with extinction (10), and about 20 percent of coral reefs have already been lost to a range of threats, including disease, invasive species, overharvesting, destructive fishing practices, development and pollution. Global climate change may also pose a severe threat, potentially leading to an increase in severe storms, increased ocean acidification due to raised carbon dioxide levels, and a rise in sea temperature, which can stress the coral and cause it to expel its zooxanthellae, a process known as bleaching. These combined threats can also mean weakened corals are more susceptible to factors such as disease and parasites (1) (8) (10) (11).
Although Physogyra lichtensteini is still common and widespread, it is heavily harvested for the aquarium trade, with Indonesia being the largest exporter (1). Due to its large size, this export may involve broken pieces of coral, which have been reported to quickly expire (4).