Coral Reef Ecosystem
Coral reefs are complex and diverse habitat. Perhaps one of the most interesting and colorful ecosystems to be found in the marine environment. They are very unique in many ways. Coral reefs play many important roles in the marine world. Lots of different sea life rely on reefs for habitat and sources of food, including some endangered species.
The reef we will be discussing is the great barrier reef of Australia. This is the largest reef in the world and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This presentation will be on the geographic location of the reef, abiotic and biotic components, and human impact.
The great barrier reef is located in the Coral sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. It is comprised of over 2900 individual reefs and stretches for 1600 miles (Mulhall, 2007). The reef supports a great variety of life including many endangered or vulnerable species.
Some of the reefs Biotic Factors are: Angelfish, cod, manta rays, mackerel, butterfly fish and surgeon fish all live in reef waters. Other animals that live in the reef waters include crabs, shrimps, crayfish, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers, soft corals, sea fans, sponges, sea anemones and worms.
Some abiotic features of the reef are: Sunlight – can only penetrate up to 30m Water – temperature stays around 21 to 38 degrees Celsius, oxygen content is high around 90% saturation most of the time. salinity – averages about 35 parts per 1000 Depth – 60 meters or 198 feet deep
Problems presented by humans
Overfishing – One example of overfishing is the giant triton sea snail which is valued for it’s shell. Now due to this particular species being overfished it allows one of the primary predators of the reef the crown of thorns starfish to feed on the coral. The snail normally eats the starfish and protects the reef. Also local fisherman fish for aquarium species that...