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Transcript of Coral Reef
Coral reefs are made when individual coral organisms (polyps) secretes a skeleton of calcium carbonate.
How the ecosystem is changing
Coral is very sensitive to short environmental alteration, this makes it hard to differentiate between human causes or natural causes of change in the environment. Natural events like hurricanes and storms can kill large amounts of coral, however they can also be beneficial by wiping out sediment for other organisms to grow on.
Increases of algae and other organisms, such a lion fish, are greatly effecting the coral reefs. "Fast growing populations could considerably impact the coral reefs ecosystem with competition and consumption of the coral reefs animals."
Anthropogenic changes include warming of the sea, acidic water, over fishing, boat anchors and divers, runoff from farms, and sewage dumping. All of this human activity results in the bleaching and destruction of the coral reefs.
Why they are important:
Coral reefs absorb wave energy and protects the shore lines from big waves
They provide a safe place for fish to spawn
They provide a habitat for around 25% of all marine life
They provide food for humans living along the coast line (fish and shellfish)
Coral helps control the amount of carbon dioxide in the ocean
They're a good sign of ocean water quality: Healthy reefs = Healthy water
Dangers to the Coral Reef
Rising Levels of Carbon Dioxide