Essay on Underwater Enviroments and Ecosystems

Essay on Underwater Enviroments and Ecosystems

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Among the many marvels the Earth’s oceans host, kelp forests as well as coral reefs are incredibly diverse ecosystems that bring opportunities for biodiversity and thriving undersea environments. Kelp forests towering above the ocean floor can grow to over a hundred feet tall, providing a dense habitat for creatures living within. Coral reefs can grow to be hundreds of miles wide, as seen with the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean. These reefs much like the kelp forests they share the sea with, provide for rich environments teeming with biodiversity and plenty of undersea resources. In recent years these reefs along with their kelp forest counterparts are being harvested more and more by humans for various commercial and non-commercial uses. This is creating a strain on these environments and their ability to survive and regrow. It is vital for humans to better understand these aquatic spectacles and do their part in advancing their growth and conserving them for the sustainability of the world’s oceans.
Kelp forests are areas in the ocean with unusually high densities of kelp plants. These kelp forests can consist of hundreds up to thousands of individual kelp stems. These forests most often grow along the coasts of most continents, both north and south of the equator. Some of the largest concentrations of kelp forests are found along the western coast of the United States and Canada (Oceanservice.noaa.gov, 2014). Kelp are described as being a large species of seaweeds that belong to the brown algae family that grow in forest-like environments under the waves. These forests can be found in smaller and more compact formations known as kelp beds. Both kelp forests and kelp beds are regarded as productive and vital underwate...


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...& algae, macrocystis pyrifera at the monterey bay aquarium. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/plants-and-algae/giant-kelp [Accessed: 1 Mar 2014].
Oceanservice.noaa.gov. (2014). What is a kelp forest?. [online] Retrieved from: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/kelp.html [Accessed: 8 Mar 2014].
Sanctuarysimon.org. (2014). Simon. [online] Retrieved from: http://sanctuarysimon.org/monterey/sections/kelpForests/overview.php [Accessed: 12 Mar 2014].
Simon, S. (2014). Coral reefs. New York: Harpercollins Publishers.
Society, N. (2014). Corals, coral pictures, coral facts - national geographic. [online] Retrieved from: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/coral/ [Accessed: 3 February 2014].’
Withgott, J. & Laposata, M. (2012). Essential environment: the science behind the stories. 4th ed. San Francisco: Pearson.

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