For instance, coral reefs serve as natural barriers against hurricanes and catastrophic storm surges, their chemicals may treat diseases, and they are a nitrogen fixation. On of the most important functions of coral reefs are that they are a major source of food for people. While they serves as a benefit to humans, coral reefs serve as shelter and food for many organisms, such as sponges, fish, turtles, dolphins, and several other marine life. Coral reefs are, to me, the most incredible organisms present in the world. Generally, coral reefs are overlooked; many do not see their beauty or even know much about them.
And then when that happens, little algae establish on that died-off patch" (Harris, 2009). As a result, damselfish increase the number of pockets in coral, creating more crevices where algae can grow. This creates a positive feedback loop, which further encourages and attracts damselfish to use corals as grounds for breeding and feeding (Wheeling Jesuit University, 2004). Overfishing ... ... middle of paper ... ...detrimental to the long-term survival of many species. For instance, overfishing is removing keystone species in a coral reef environment, such as parrotfish.
Global Warming: The Effect on Coral Reefs Global warming is becoming an increasingly problematic issue for countries all over the world. Among many issues being faced, scientists are seeing increased and more dramatic changes in weather patterns and rising water temperatures that are affecting coral reefs. Earth’s coral reef population is rapidly depleting due to climate change, killing millions of marine animals, potentially placing the world’s coasts in extreme danger, and affecting the livelihoods of both wildlife and humans world-wide. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth and support more species per unit area than any other marine environment (United States Department of Commerce). Coral reefs are shelter for fish, crabs, and oysters, just to name a few, and shield smaller marine life from larger predators.
How the algal abundance will increase due to this ocean acidification and may lead to improved conditions of calcification. What causes CO2 from this source and how exactly it gets into the water, as well as how this leads to reduction in calcium carbonate and the potential for calcifiers and other orga... ... middle of paper ... ...t for echinoderms but for other species that feed on them or species they feed on. The species richness will go down along with the diversity of that ecosystem. This will change the entire food web that coral reefs and other ecosystems use today. Some key predators may be too abundant or there may not be enough predators having a top down and bottom up effect on the trophic system.
After scientists took notice, other instances were noticed around the world such as in Japan, the Indo-Pacific, and around the United States in areas such as California, and near Florida. The main cause of coral bleaching is pollution. Large companies, and regular citizens that are dumping their waste in the oceans are a major contributor towards global warming. Global warming is the main cause of bleaching due to the increasing temperature in waters, this increase in temperature cause the reefs a lot of stress. The second largest factor is climate change.
These really affect not only animal life but the quality of the ocean. Ships and boats are the main cause for so much oil being in the water. These leaks can make a huge black spot in the middle of the ocean and animals can swim through there and get easily contaminated. In 1979, 1.1 million tons of oil was released into the ocean. Many animals could have eaten some oil and gotten infected.
Heal the Bay works on developing effective capping and removal plans to keep those toxins from spreading” (Heal the Bay). DDT is still highly concentrated in the South Bay area and still contaminating different species of fish. Even after more than 80 years DDT, a toxic insecticide, is still very concentrated and during upwellings, DDT particles come back up and continue to harm marine life. If humans are careless about what is thrown on the floor or sprayed on lawns, it can lead to disastrous affects when it comes to the condition of the ocean's ecosystems, and can endanger life itself leading to a problem that only we can mend. The ocean can serve man purposes things for many different people; as a school, a home, a park... ... middle of paper ... ...harges of Human-made Debris Comprise the Largest Source of Marine Debris in Oceans World-wide (nearly 80%)."
Destructive fishing practices, land-based sources of pollution such as agricultural runoff, and excessive coastal development all have detrimental effects on delicate reefs. Global warming due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases may result in sea-level rise and higher ocean temperatures, both of which have the potential to be destructive to coral reefs. In Florida, living animals whose skeletons make up the foundation of the multi-colored underwater reefs, corals are an important part of the aquatic ecosystem. Florida's coast has the only living coral reefs in the continental United States. These ancient, slow-growing structures are now imperiled by their own enormous popularity.
Some scenarios that have affected the reef are: coral bleaching, over fishing, and diminishing water quality. Coral bleaching affects the reef immensely, “Corals are resilient enough to recover from short periods of bleaching, but if the occurrence becomes more frequent and more harsh, the reef system will not have enough time to rebuild itself and will eventually die” (Top 3 Reasons Why the Reef Is Dying). A specific water temperature is essential in order for the coral to thrive. When the water temperature rises, the coral becomes disturbed, algal pigmentation is lost, and the coral will die. Essentially, the reef is entirely made of coral.