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Coral Reef Calcification: The Helpful Effects on Reefs and Animals

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Jake Lorenz

on 15 April 2010

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Transcript of Coral Reef Calcification: The Helpful Effects on Reefs and Animals

Coral Reef Calcification What are the helpful effects of calcification on coral reefs? 2HCO3- + Ca2+ ->CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O What is coral reef calcification? Sodium Bicarbonate Calcium Calcium Carbonate Carbon Dioxide Water Limestone When bicarbonate (HCO3-) combines with Calcium (Ca2) it creates a substance called Calcium Carbonate(CaCO3, limestone)
The general idea of what coral reef calcification is how it gains limestone and grows (or decreases) over periods of time. As Limestone builds up on the coral reefs, the reefs not only become larger, but a little more durable over time. So with this, the coral reefs become a little safer from damage or erosion. References Fun Facts Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems on Earth.
Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet.
Although coral reefs cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, they are home to 25% of all marine fish species.
500 million people rely on coral reefs for their food and livelihoods.
Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea, thereby protecting coastal dwellings, agricultural land and beaches.
Without the existence of coral reefs, parts of Florida would be under water.
Coral reefs have been used in the treatment of cancer, HIV, cardiovascular diseases and ulcers.
Corals' porous limestone skeletons have been used for human bone grafts.
It is estimated that coral reefs provide $375 billion per year around the world in goods and services.
If the present rate of destruction continues, 70% of the world's coral reefs will be destroyed by the year 2050. (The Nature Conservancy, 2010) The helpful effects on the coral reefs are that they get stronger, larger, more durable, and heal over time from calcification. Calcification of coral reefs is how they grow. The calcium and limestone creates more coral stacked on top of the reef already. The process of gaining coral may be slow, but over time it will expand. Elements and Quantities in Calcification Reaction: Oxygen: 6
Hydrogen: 2
Carbon: 2
Calcium: 1 Chemical Reactants: Bicarbonate
Calcium Products from Reaction: Calcium Carbonate
Carbon Dioxide
Water Catalyst? In Calcification there is no catalyst. A catalyst is an element that starts the reaction or speeds it up without being affected at all from the reaction (WordNet, 2010). Balanced Equation
(Both sides have equal number of each element)
Important for it to be balanced so you know what
the final product consists of in terms of elements. In my research, i have found:
Overall idea of calcification
What reefs are made of
How they can survive and heal
Benefits on humans and environment
Geographical significance
Reflection: Impacts on me:
It informed me of the ways coral reefs grow in size and how they do not decay under water over time. I now know that coral reefs are primarily limestone. If the reefs were to ever break or get damaged, it would be a significant loss, but they could over time heal themselves from calcification. Real-life Application:
This relates to the growth and development of our coral reefs. It explains how coral reefs grow, get stronger, and repair themselves. It is relative because coral reefs play such an important role in our lives. This relates to what we have been studying in science by the chemical reactions and they way the chemicals react with one another to create a final product. The Nature Conservancy. (2010). Coral Reefs Of The Tropics. In The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved April 14, 2010, from http://www.nature.org/joinanddonate/rescuereef/explore/facts.html.
Word Net Search. (2010). Word Net Search- 3.0. In Word Net Search. Retrieved April 14, 2010, from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=catalyst.
(Leslie Richter, Unknown) (Daniel and Robbie Wisdom, Unknown) (Emre Turak, Unknown) (Daniel and Robbie Wisdom, Unknown)
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