Coral Reefs: A Diverse Ecosystem Essay

Coral Reefs: A Diverse Ecosystem Essay

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Coral reefs are one of the oldest and the most diverse ecosystems in the planet; because of such matter, scientists coined coral reefs as ‘rainforests of the sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA for short (2008) estimated that about 25% of marine life use coral reefs as safe havens from predators, breeding grounds, and feeding grounds despite the fact that coral reefs only cover a small percentage (estimated about 0.1%) of the world’s oceans. It serves an umbrella specie because it serves both as a habitat and a living, breathing organism for other marine animals to thrive. According to Withgott (2011), coral reefs is a massive oceanic structure composed of skeletons from dead marine animals found in most parts of the world’s oceans (p. 439). These animals also serve protection and home for other marine life, such as smaller like clownfish who use sea anemones to keep their young safe after reproduction, to larger marine life like sharks use reefs as feeding grounds. It is not only the fish that should be thankful for coral reefs, humans should also thank reefs because it acts as a natural buffer and reduce the destructive capability of waves when it reaches the shoreline; which is important especially in coastline communities here in Florida. Coral reefs also attracts tourists, for example, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, explore the wonders of the Earth’s ocean and marine life. Due to climate changes, human factors such as pollution, tourism, and overfishing, and the recent rise of the ocean’s acidity, coral reefs are considered endangered, and if destroyed the world’s oceans would never thrive.
Coral: Building Blocks of Reefs
Without corals, there would be no coral reefs. Many p...

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...f to another location wherever the tide takes the cells. Due to nature’s unpredictable tendencies, synchronization of secreting sperm and egg cells are vital for coral reproduction; if there was an imbalance in the synchronization between the two cells, future coral and coral reefs would never thrive (NOAA, 2009).
Formation of Coral Reefs
The formation of coral reefs is a process because coral larvae attach themselves to solid surfaces, an example of which are submerged rocks beneath the ocean floor and the edges of continents or isles, and recently scientists found out that coral larvae also attach themselves to shipwrecks as well to adapt these wrecks into habitable places for fishes. It could take several to millions of years for coral reefs to flourish because coral reefs grow at a slow pace ranging from 0.3 to 2 centimeters (0.12 to 0.79 inches) per year.

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