Coral animals begin life as free-floating larvae, but settle on the sea floor in sedentary colonies. The term "coral" applies both to these animals and to their skeletons, particularly the skeletons of stone-like corals (Discover 1997). Many different organisms, including mollusks, sponges, and worms, help shape reefs, but hard corals and various algae are the major architects. In effect, the corals build limestone, because their skeletons are made of Calcium Carbonate. The skeletons deposited by these corals and other organisms accumulate, along with sand and other debris, to form the backbone of the reef.
“Coral Bleaching.” Scientific American, 269:64-70 Cohen, Anne L.; Lobel, Phillip S. Oct. 1997. “Coral Bleaching on the Johnston Atoll.” The Biological Bulletin. V193: n2. P276(4). “Coral Color.” November 1997.
It is a big marine reptile with bony or leathery shell, large upper eyelids, non-retractable head and powerful front flipper (Lim & Das, 1999). Sea turtles are one of the marine life which can help to maintain a healthy marine food web and are responsible for the nutrient recycle from the oceans to the beaches especially during nesting season to support the vegetation besides preventing erosion. According to Spellman (2008), the five common species of sea turtles are Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Kemp’s Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) (refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1). The first type of sea turtle is Dermochelys coriacea. According to Gulko and Eckert (2004), it is the only living representative for the Dermocheyldae family.
Corals reefs appear as isolated formations in the fossil record over four hundred million years ago, corals are extremely old animals that have evolved into modern reef creating forms over the last twenty-five million years. Coral reefs are unique and the most gorgeous and diverse out of all marine habitats. Organisms that provide the matrix for he growing reef are the dominant ones known as frame builders. Topographical, the reef is very complex. Thousands of fish and invertebrates live in association with reefs, because of the complexity.
Reefs are complex and diverse habits. Perhaps one of the major and important marine biomes. Yet they are relatively a small biome, roughly about 25% of the marine species that belong to the oceans live in the coral reefs. Coral reefs are an underwater structure composed of calcium carbonated, a secretion from corals. A significant portion of the world’s coral reefs forms close to the equator along the coastlines and locate themselves around islands throughout the world.
The delicately balanced marine environment of the coral reef relies on the interaction of hard and soft corals, sponges, anemones, snails, rays, crabs, lobsters, turtles, dolphins and other sea life. What is a coral reef made of? A coral reef is composed of thin plates or layers of calcium carbonate secreted over thousands of years by billions of tiny soft bodied animals called coral polyps. It takes years for some corals to grow an inch and they range in size from a pinhead to a foot in length. Each polyp excretes a calcereous exo-skeleton and lives in a symbiotic relationship with a host algae, zooxanthellae, that gives the coral its color.
During the day the zooxanthellae rise to the surface of the animal and produce food by photosynthesis. At night the polyp extends a stinging, multitenticled mouth that feeds on any planktonic animals. They both benefit from the waste products of the other. They also work together to capture calcium carbonate from seawater and convert it into the hard limestone structures in which they live. Because corals survive due to this fragile relationship, they are very sensitive and tolerate relatively narrow ranges of water temperature, salinity and transparency.
Introduction Seagrass is on the decline around the world and it is an extremely vital marine ecosystem found in shallow water mainly distributed throughout tropical seas, from a temperature around 4oC to 24oC (Green and Short 2003). They are the only true flowering plant (angiosperm) to live in aquatic conditions providing support and shelter for vast amounts of species (Orth et al. 2006; Jackson et al. 2001). They are a marine aquatic plant and a keystone species for many coastal areas found all over the world (Libralato, Christensen and Pauly 2006).
This family includes approximately nine genera and eighty- three species. They are abundant in tropical reefs around the world and well known to divers for their striking coloration and noisy feeding as they crunch on dead coral. The geographic range of Parrotfishes is mainly in tropical waters throughout the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. Nevertheless, some species inhabit subtropical waters, and some, such as Scarus ghobban, may venture far from the coral reef ecosystems. (Choat and Bellwood, 1998; Nelson, 1994).
Results from Different Studies Investigating the Role of Climate Change in Coral Reef Destruction Evidence of Sea Acidi... ... middle of paper ... ...igher—Can We Do Anything About It?. National Geographic. Retrieved Nov 11, 2013: http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-sea-level-rise/ Obura, D. (2005). Resilience and climate change: lessons from coral reefs and bleaching in the Western Indian Ocean. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 63, 353–372.