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Coral Reefs

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Sean VonVreckin

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs By Sean Von Vreckin A coral reef is underwater structure that is shaped by limestone formations as well as skeletons from marine animals called corals They also contain the remains of other limestone-producing organisms including algae, shellfish Coral reefs are often referred to as the rainforest of the sea because although they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, they support about 25 percent of all marine life According to NOAA or national oceanic and atmospheric administration 32 out of the 34 known animal Phyla are found on coral reefs show how diverse life is on a coral reef.
Coral reefs support more than 800 hard coral species and more than 4,000 species of fish Diversity Of Coral Reefs Biodiversity on Coral Reefs Biodiversity on coral reefs is in part due to adaptations for better survival on the reef Examples Parrotfish have beak like front teeth that they use to scrape algae off the hard corals.
Moray eels are another organism that have adapted to life on a coral reef’s by having long thin bodies that allow them to hide in the limestone cracks where they wait for and catch their prey Interactions Among all the life on the reefs organisms interact with each other.
Some Reef organisms formed symbiotic relationships with each other to better adapt to life on a coral reef
sea anemone and the clownfish The relationship between the anemone and a clown fish is a mutual one the anemone provides protection and a home for the fish while the anemone benefits by the fish attracting its prey or the anemone cleaning the fish off for its food The interactions between organisms on a coral reef have made it possible for the survival of a more diverse population Coral reefs benefit humans and life on land due to their structure and diversity. Coral reefs can benefit humans in many ways including
providing a food source
medical benefits
economical benefits
geological benefits Food Source Reefs benefit humans because due to the biodiversity and the large amounts of organisms a reef can support, it acts as an important food source for many people in tropical coastal regions. Many different societies depend on the organisms that coral reefs support for food including
Pacific Islands
Mediterranean societies Medicine Doctors use limestone produced and found on coral reefs to replace parts of human bones.
Medical researchers also believe chemicals from certain reef organisms may help researchers discover new medicines to treat diseases with no current successful treatment medical benefits include: Economical Benefits Due to the wide range of life seen on a coral reef, tourists are attracted to them bringing money to the area Reefs serve as a buffer/ barrier, protecting in-shore areas from pounding ocean waves. Without coral reefs, many beaches and buildings would become vulnerable to wave action and storm damage Geologically Coral reefs benefits to humans are enormous; however human activities have led to the destruction of many coral reefs and their environments The fishing industry as well as human fossil fuel use, pollution, deforestation, agricultural fertilizer use all pose a big threat to coral reefs Fishing methods such as dynamite and cyanide/bleach can destroy coral life as well as overfishing. Overfishing can disrupt the stability of the reef’s ecosystem by endangering certain reefs species Fishing Increased use of fossil fuels Human’s increased use of fossil fuels has but more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increasing global temperatures. The increase in global temperatures has also increased to temperatures of the ocean which causes bleaching of corals, a process that occurs when coral becomes too stressed and their Zooxanthellea die or are expelled from the polyps. Waste from human activities such as manufacturing, business, garbage disposal being dumped in rivers, oceans have causes more polluted water. The pollution in the water poisons the coral and destroys the ecosystem Pollution Deforestation Deforestation causes soil to wash into the sea and block sunlight which is necessary for the corals survival. Many organisms that live on the coral reef depend on the plants that use sunlight for photosynthesis, making light a necessity for this ecosystem. The agricultural activity of humans that has hurt coral reefs is the agricultural fertilizers used can seep into oceans and cause an overgrowth of algae and can smother the corals polyps. Agriculture Humans need to realize the importance of coral reefs and change how our actions as a society are affecting them. Instead of killing these creatures we should be providing them with the ability to grow, expand and thrive. Coral restoration and conservation methods have been enacted to protect coral reefs and restore reefs that have been destroyed by humans; however this is not enough better reef management laws need to be enforced to protect reefs from the most harmful human activities. http://stateofthecoast.noaa.gov/coral/coral_humanhealth.html Work Cited:
"About Coral Reef." NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. NOAA. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcorals/>.
"Coral Reefs." Exploring the environment . ETE Team , 09 3 1994. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/coralreef/CRreferences.html>.
"Coral Reefs ." Ocean World. Texas A&M University. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/index.html>.
"Coral Reefs ." World Wildlife Foundation. World Wildlife Foundation. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/coasts/coral_reefs>.
Dodge, Richard E. “Coral reef.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013.Web. 24 May 2013
Hallock Muller, Pamela . "Why are Coral Reefs Important." university of south florida. N.p., 3 10 1997. Web. 28 May 2013. <http://www.marine.usf.edu/pjocean/packets/f97/coral4.pdf>. What is Coral Reef?
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