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Transcript of Coral Reefs
This is the most common type of reef. They are located very close to land, and often form a shallow lagoon between the beach and the main body of the reef.
This type of reef resembles a fringing reef, but they are located further from the shore and can be much bigger than fringing reefs.
These circular or horseshoe-shaped reefs encircle a lagoon. No apparent landmass is normally associated with an atoll.
These outcrops of coral usually lie within a lagoon.
Graph of Stoney Coral Variety
Fungi is one of the main biotic factors that cause coral to die off or become diseased in coral reefs.
• Fungi are multi-celled organisms that contain no chlorophyll. Fungi are decomposers, absorb nutrients, and are classified by shape
Types of fungi:
• Ascomycota: An Ascomycota is sac or cup shaped fungus. These fungi are capable of consuming almost any liquid, as long as there is water present in it.
• Chytridiomycota: A Chytridiomycota is a fungi that is found in water or soil.They feed on living or decaying organisms, and are important decomposers.
Protist-most single celled with organelles
• Two examples of Protist cells found in the coral reef are
Chorella varagata, which is an example of Zoochlorella algae, and Paramecium aurelia, which is an example of the wide range of Paramecium.
• Paramecium aurelia are found off the coast of Japan and floating out in the water of the coral reef areas. Chorella varagata are mostly found in coral reefs, fresh water, and marine water. It grows anywhere in the coral reef setting.
• 23°N and 23°S latitude Corals can not stand temperatures that drop much below an average temperature of 18°C. This limits their habitat to waters between 23°N and 23°S latitude. Coral reefs are found almost exclusively in the seas and oceans between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. In this region, water temperatures are warm and stable year-round (64 - 86 degrees Fahrenheit, 18-30 degrees Celsius).
Physicals landscape: Coral reefs are tropical, extending to about 30° north and south of the equator and forming only where surface waters are never cooler than 16° C (61° F).
***Coral reefs are of three types: fringing reef, barrier reef, and atoll. Fringing reefs extend outward from the shore of an island or mainland, with no body of water between reef and land. Barrier reefs occur farther offshore, with a channel or lagoon between reef and shore. Atolls are coral islands, typically consisting of a narrow, horse-shoe-shaped reef with a shallow lagoon.
Map of the world with its location:
• Caribbean Sea, the western Indian Ocean, western reaches of the South Pacific. Non-tropical coral reef zones include the Red Sea, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
• Wet, sandy
• Calcium carbonate based sand
• Dead coral composition
• Various rock sediments
• Animal sediments.
• individual coral colonies (polyps) actually build the reef's limestone, or calcium carbonate, structure.
Threats to coral reefs:
Larger debris, coming from both the land and the sea, can break apart coral and strangle and suffocate marine life. Plastics are an especially large threat, as they often wrap around smaller branching corals, entangle marine life and kill animals such as sea gulls and turtles.
What is being done to help?
• EPA scientists onboard EPA’s Ocean Survey Vessel Bold monitor and assess the impacts of natural and human-caused impacts on coral reefs such as the potential effects of dredged material disposal or discharges from sewage treatment plants.
• EPA participates in the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The mission of the interagency Task Force is to lead, coordinate, and strengthen U.S. Government actions to better preserve and protect coral reef ecosystems.
Threats to Coral Reefs
Average Season Temperatures of Coral Reefs (F )
Coral Reef Summer Winter
Apo Reef (Philippines) 85F 77F
Great Barrier Reef (Australia) 84F 74F
Glovers Reef Atoll (Belize) 85F 79F
Raja Ampat Reef (Indonesia) 84F 75F
• Need Warm Temperatures: 73-84F
o Temperature needs to be greater than 64F, but Coral can survive in higher temperatures temporarily.
o Small daily temperature fluctuation
• Precipitation Year Round
• Most: August and April
• Least: May to July
• High humidity year round.
• Great Barrier Humidity: 60-70%
• Glovers Reef: 85-95%
-Symbiotic Relationship with dinoflagellate
• Few international laws
• Earth Summit 1992: Responsibility of country
• Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)
• Coral Reef Conservation Act (CRCA)
• Great Barrier Marine Acts’
• Maintaining Coral Reefs
• High biodiversity/mass
• 5,000 unique to coral reefs
-Convert nitrogen into useable forms
• Both benefit corals, algae, and organisms
Ultimate Impact of Coral Reef
-Income and jobs
-Nutrients for food chain
-Survival of species
~Shelter: 25% of fish and two million marine species
Xenia Swimming crab feed on the Xenia soft coral at a rate that allows the coral to survive.
Emperor Shrimp "surfs" on sea cucumbers or sea slugs, feeding on detritus and fecal matter.
Sea Anemones provide anemone fishes with a place to take refugee and deposit eggs.
Detritivores- Feed on decomposing organic particles, waste products, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
Herbivores- They eat all the of algae except the for the roots. they consume between 40,000-156,000 bites of algae in one day
Carnivores- they consume everything from the sponges on up.
Omnivores- species of fish that consume both algae and other fish.
Gonochorists- They are either male or female and do not change sex.
Simultaneous hermaphrodites- Possess the reproductive organs of both a male and a female.
Synchronous hermaphrodites- Transform from one sex to another
Fish Reproductive system
Other Sea Life
Sea Turtles, Whales, Dolphines, Sharks, Rays, Sponges, Sea Anemone, Sea Jellies, Flatworms, Crustaceans, Sea Slugs, Echinoderms, Tunicates, Sea Snakes, Marine Iguanas, Seals, Sea Lions, Manatees, and Dugongs.