Are Coral Reefs in Danger?

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Abstract

Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine life. The leading natural cause of destruction among the coral reefs is global warming. Other natural causes are earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The destruction to the coral reefs from these natural disasters is minimal compared to the dangers caused by man. Man-made destruction has a much wider impact on the health of the coral reefs. This destruction includes over-fishing, damage from anchors, aquarium industry, overgrowth of seaweed, and being smothered by sediments.
Are Coral Reefs in Danger?

Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine life. They exist in an area about 30 degrees on either side of the equator. Coral reefs are home to more species than any other marine ecosystem. This includes over 1500 types of fish and 500 different types of algae. (Encarta) However, nearly 60% of coral reefs are in serious danger due to both natural and man-made causes.

The leading natural cause of destruction among the coral reefs is global warming. Global warming causes the bleaching of coral reefs to occur. Bleaching is a response to stress by the coral reef that happens when the water becomes to warm. The coral then put out a brownish zooxanthelle which causes them to lose their color. Without the zooxanthelle, the corals cannot provide nourishment for itself and this can eventually lead to death. (Encarta)

Other natural causes are earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The destruction to the coral reefs from these natural disasters is minimal compared to the dangers caused by man. (University of Washington)

Man-made destruction has a much wider impact on the health of the coral reefs. This destruction includes over-fishing, damage from anchors, aquarium industry, overgrowth of seaweed, and being smothered by sediments.

For example, with...
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