It looks like a reef. Coral reefs are miracles of evolution.
They are like undersea cities, filled with colorful fish, intricate formations and wondrous sea creatures. The importance of coral reefs, however, extends far beyond the pleasure it brings to those who explore it.
Coral reefs play an essential role in everything from water filtration and fish reproduction to shore line protection and erosion prevention.
A Barrier from Storms and Surge Reefs play an important role in protecting the shoreline from storms and surge water. Barrier reefs help stabilize mangroves and seagrass beds, which can easily be uprooted by large waves and h6 currents.
Erosion prevention is particularly important in coastal areas such as the Florida Keys, where much of the shore is lined with residential homes and commercial buildings.
One fish, two fish As the foundation for complex food webs, coral reefs support an incredible diversity of fish. Algae, soft coral, sponges and invertebrates create the base of this web.
From small herbivorous fish to large predatory fish, all find food and protection on the reef. Along side reef fish is an equally diverse array of marine crustaceans, reptiles and mammals. Everything from lobsters and octopus to sea turtles and dolphins depend on the reef for food, habitat and protection.
Each animal plays an important role in the reef ecosystem, be it filtering water, consuming prolific algae or keeping a particular species under control. By supporting such a wide range of plants and animals, reefs are able to maintain balanced relationships between predators and prey and organisms in competition for the same resources.
It is these balanced relationships that keep our marine ecosystems diverse and abundant with life. Nutrition Fish and other marine life have been a primary source of protein for as long as people have lived along the coast. Local fisheries, such as lobster, stone crab, snapper and grouper, all directly rely on the reef for spawning and habitat.
Other fisheries, such as tuna, dolphin and other pelagic species, rely on the reef indirectly, though the bait fish that they consume. Water Filtration Most corals and sponges are filter feeders, which means that they consume particulate matter suspended in the water column.
This contributes to enhanced quality and clarity of our near shore waters. Economic Development Coral reefs often form the backbone of local economies. Tourists coming to dive need not only dive boats and guides, but also restaurants, hotels and commercial and entertainment facilities.
In many cases, tourism asociated with reefs has expanded to transform the entire economy of a region. This of course has both positive and negative consequences for both the marine environment and the communities involved. For example, someone who harvests sea turtle eggs may choose to sell turtle tours as an alternative livelihood.
On the other hand, an unmonitored number of tourists may result in environmental problems such as coral damage, pollution and inadequate waste treatment.Human Abuses of Coral Reefs- Adaptive Responses and Regime Transitions Disturbance and ecosystem regimes coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on this planet (Birkeland ), serving humans with a vast array of ecological services (Moberg and Folke, ).
On a global scale, modern coral reefs have persisted. Coral reefs are spectacular, diverse ecosystems that are home to thousands of different species.
Coral reefs have been termed "the rainforests of the sea" because they support a vast abundance and diversity of different plants and animals, more species than any other marine ecosystem. Coral Reef Ecosystem – LIT Technique Essay Sample. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth.
They support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4, species of fish, species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. Coral reefs have existed for some million years, but most living reefs originated or renewed their growth at the end of the Pleistocene (about 10, years ago), when sea levels rose in response to melting continental ice sheets.
What is a coral reef?
The Ecosystem of the Coral Reef Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive communities on Earth. They are found in the warm, clear, shallow waters of tropical oceans worldwide. Reefs have functions ranging from providing food and shelter to fish and . Coral bleaching is the whitening of coral colonies due to the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae from the tissues of polyps (Guilcher ). This loss exposes the white calcium carbonate skeletons of the coral, yet coral naturally lose about % of their zooxanthellae during regulation and replacement processes. The coral reef ecosystem is a diverse collection of species that interact with each other and the physical environment. The numerous species residing and depending on coral reefs represent a bank containing the genetic diversity necessary for adaptation to changes in the environment.
Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth, rivaled only by tropical rain forests. They are made up not only of hard and soft corals, but also sponges, crustaceans, mollusks, fish, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and much more. Essay on the “Coral Reefs” in India.
In Gulf of Mannar, southern side of islands is covered with dense corals, which are more diverse than those on northern side.
Short Notes on the Importance of Coral Reefs in the Marine Ecosystem? Short Essay on the Iotic Communities of Coral .