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Coral Reef Biome

CEP Biology Project

Frankie R

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Coral Reef Biome

by Frances Reyes
and Katrina Castro

1. What is a coral reef?
2. Location + Climate
3. Types of Reefs and Corals
5. Cycles in the Coral Reef
4. Biotic Factors + Organisms
6. Human Impact + Global Warming
7. Bioamplication/Biomagnification
Located in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, in the tropics
More than 90% of the world's coral reefs appear in the Indo-West Pacific region of the world.
Found in shallow water where sea surface temperatures range from 68 - 97 degrees F.
Rainfall: about 80 inches per year. The heaviest rainfall occurs in February.
Some well-known coral reefs: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Belize Barrier Reef, and the Red Sea Coral Reef.
There are three types of coral reefs:
1. fringing reefs - built out from rocky coasts
2. barrier reefs - have lagoons lying between them and the coast
3. atolls - completely encircle lagoons
The Nitrogen Cycle: Plants underwater perform this cycle in order to keep a stable environment.
1. Nitrogen is retained in the soil.
2. The plants take up the nitrogen into their roots.
3. A primary consumer eats the plant and retains the nitrogen.
4. A secondary consumer gains nitrogen from primary consumer.
5. Secondary consumer dies.
6. Decomposer will break up its remains.
7. Nitrogen will be sent back up to the atmosphere.
Human activities that are detrimental to coral reef environments:
Coral reefs are vulnerable to a wide variety of toxic substances:
1. metals (mercury and lead)
2. toxic organic chemicals (PCBs and dioxin)
3. pesticides
4. herbicides found in industrial discharges
5. urban and agricultural runoff mining activities
6. landfill runoff

What happens when these toxic substances enter organisms?
1. Death
2. Scarring
3. Reproductive failure
4. Accumulation in the body
Coral Reef
Coral reefs are very diverse marine habitats in shallow ocean water formed by living stony coral polyps and coralline red and green algae.
Over thousands of years, a limestone structure builds up in warm, clear tropical or subtropical water to form a coral reef.
It is estimated that at least 100,000 marine animal species live on tropical reefs, including 1,500 kinds of stony coral.
The Carbon Cycle: Runoff from rivers, organisms, and the atmosphere are all source of carbon.
1. Exchanged throughout a food chain.
2. Precipitated carbon rich layers as dead soft tissue.
3. In shells as calcium carbonate.
4. Deposited as sediment.
5. Returned to the surface waters through thermohaline circulation.
The Phosphorus Cycle: Phosphorus is known to have low solubility in water, making it less abundant to ecosystems.
1. Phosphorus has no mechanism for organisms to alleviate the deficiency.
2. Weathering of land rocks are sources of phosphorus atoms.
3. Rivers carry them and are eventually buried in oceanic sediments.
4. Phosphorus absorbed by organisms is recycled.
Coral Mining
Water Pollution
Blast Fishing
Digging of Canals
Global warming may be killing off many species in the coral reefs. It has been predicted that algae will dominate over coral. The rise of carbon dioxide emissions and the resultant climate warming from the burning of fossil fuels are making oceans warmer and more acidic. This causes coral reefs to bleach and eventually die.
There two types of coral - hard and soft.
Hard corals:
made of rock-like, rigid calcium carbonate
are immobile and grow at a slow rate
various types of algae give their color
colonies of hard corals live together and grow in huge masses
Soft corals:
made of calcium carbonate with protein that makes it less rigid than hard corals
have no exoskeleton
can sway back and forth with the currents
There are over 100,000 marine animal species in a coral reef.
1. coralline algae - most important producers, serve as food for primary consumers
2. zooxanthellae - are symbiotic with corals and can undergo photosynthesis
3. phytoplankton - also one of the most important producers that feed organisms
4. bacteria - convert heat, methane, and sulfur into energy through chemosynthesis
Primary consumers:
1. damselfish
2. parrotfish
3. clownfish
4. surgeonfish
5. wrasses
6. blue tangs
Secondary consumers:
1. eels
2. crabs
3. starfish
4. seagulls
Tertiary consumers:
1. sharks
2. barracudas
3. stingrays
4. jacks
1. zooplankton
2. benthos
3. urchins
Dominant vegetation:
1. seagrasses
2. seaweeds
3. mangroves
1. bacteria - decompose organic material and put it in their biomass.
2. snails - keep reefs clean by eating dead matter.
3. barnacles - suspension feeders (dwell in their shells). They feed on plankton and detritus.
Parrotfish are keystone species: without them, they wouldn't produce coral reef sand and eat the algae off of the coral. This would result in an unhealthy coral reef, making it not feasible for all these other aquatic organisms to survive.
1. Mangroves have adapted to saltwater conditions - their roots can filter salt and their leaves can excrete salt.
2. Clownfish have adapted to shelter among sea anemones for protection.
In conclusion...
A coral reef is a diverse marine biome that contains over 100,000 aquatic species including the clownfish, blue tangs, sea urchins, and starfish.
It is located in tropical areas of the world, mostly in the Pacific Ocean.
Carbon emissions and burning fossil fuels negatively impact coral reefs.
Fish are friends, NOT FOOD. :)
Don't mess with the coral reef.
Full transcript