A study on coral reefs and the important role of humans to the diverse habitat

Deep-water corals live up to 4 miles deep in cold, dark waters. There are also deep-sea corals that thrive in cold, dark water at depths of up to 20, feet 6, m.

Many of the Marshall Islands, a system of islands in the Pacific Ocean and home to the Marshallese, are atolls.

The Importance of Coral Reefs

Clean water depends on careful use of the land, avoiding too many fertilizers and erosion caused by deforestation and certain construction practices. Reefs are home to a wide range of marine organisms. Stephen Cairns, a Smithsonian research zoologist, studies deep-water corals.

Why Are Coral Reefs So Important?

One fish, two fish As the foundation for complex food webs, coral reefs support an incredible diversity of fish. The majority of coral reefs are called fringe reefs because they fringe the coastline of a nearby landmass. Parrotfish actually eat the reef itself. Both making it harder for corals to build their skeletons.

Reefs, which are usually made up of many colonies, are much bigger still. This is called fragmentation, which can occur as a result of a disturbance such as a storm or being hit by fishing equipment. In the long run, however, the future of coral reefs will depend on reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is increasing rapidly due to burning of fossil fuels.

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. This is called an atoll.

These skeletons can tell us about what conditions were like hundreds or thousands of years ago. Its jewel is a collection of shallow-water corals from the U.

Other fisheries, such as tuna, dolphin and other pelagic species, rely on the reef indirectly, though the bait fish that they consume. Runoff from lawns, sewage, cities, and farms feeds algae that can overwhelm reefs. But by mimicking the nooks and crannies of real coral reefs, this Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure ARMS attracts crabs, shrimps, worms, urchins, sponges, and many other kinds of marine invertebrates.

Therefore, the health of coral reefs depends on sustainable human uses that promote economic development while protecting sensitive coral ecosystems and the creatures that reside there.

Coral Bleaching Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. The coral reef structure also buffers shorelines against waves, storms, and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage, and erosion.

Some coral colonies have crabs and shrimps that live within their branches and defend their home against coral predators with their pincers.

Colonies release huge numbers of eggs and sperm that are often glued into bundles one bundle per polyp that float towards the surface. Coral reefs are important for many different reasons aside from supposedly containing the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.

Reefs form when corals grow in shallow water close to the shore of continents or smaller islands. A species may play a crucial role in an ecosystem and if it is removed, all organisms in that community may feel the impact. To study this complex ecosystem, they needed a field station where they could conduct research in one location, from multiple disciplines, over a long period of time.

The zooxanthellae also provide much of the color that corals have. Fish abundance is a count of the number of fish in a given area and can be calculated in terms of total fish abundance or in terms of abundance of key fish species or families.

Over time, a lagoon forms between the corals and the sinking island and a barrier reef forms around the lagoon. Corals do this throughout their lifetime.

Seawater with too many nutrients speeds up the growth of seaweeds and increases the food for predators of corals when they are developing as larvae in the plankton.

CReefs researchers have deployed hundreds of ARMS around the world in places like Hawaii, Australia, Moorea, Taiwan, and Panama in order to compare biodiversity among different, and often distant, reefs.

One kind of goby chews up a particularly nasty seaweed, and even benefits by becoming more poisonous itself. Meanwhile, ocean acidification means more acidic seawater, which makes it more difficult for corals to build their calcium carbonate skeletons.Reef fish, as predators or grazers, play an important role in the community dynamics of coral reefs.

Coral reefs with intact fish populations and trophic linkages are integral to healthy reefs. We study the abundance, size and distribution of fish populations to understand changes in reef dynamics and help understand how humans affect fish.

In fact, coral reefs are some of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Economic Value Beyond their intrinsic value and their role as a breeding ground for many of the ocean's fish and other species, coral reefs provide human societies with resources and services worth many billions of dollars each year.

Coral reefs are also very important to people.

Coral Reef Biodiversity

The value of coral reefs has been estimated at 30 billion U.S. dollars and perhaps as much as billion U.S. dollars each year, providing food, protection of shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines.

Unfortunately, people also pose the greatest threat to coral reefs. Coral reefs are among the most diverse and biologically complex ecosystems on earth, supporting 33% of marine fish species, let’s take a closer look at why coral reefs are important? How they can be destroyed? Logan: Coral reefs are among the most bio-diverse ecosystems on earth, similar to rain forests.

They provide habitat for fish and fisheries that a lot of people depend on for food, especially in. Coral reefs 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.

Scientists estimate that there may be another 1 to 8 million undiscovered species of organisms living in and around reefs (Reaka-Kudla, ).

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A study on coral reefs and the important role of humans to the diverse habitat
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