Coral Reef Destruction
They can be found in all three of the Earth’s oceans, scattered throughout 109 countries. Ancient natural masterpieces formed by a variety of delicate lime secreting coral polyps. The oldest discovered reef was formed over 500 million years ago, which makes it one of the oldest ecosystems to exist. Little is known about the lifespan of coral colonies but they have been known to last from a few decades to over a century. Although, many different forms exist most reefs are made up primarily of two types of corals; hard corals, and soft corals. Hard coral is the skeleton of the reef since soft coral are not able to build reefs since they do not produce a high enough amount of calcium carbonate. They thrive in shallow waters near areas with a more tropical climate. The vast array of sea life that the reef biome houses can stand a bit of chill but they cant tolerate it for long periods of time. Normal reef temperatures usually range from 17-34°c. The coral reef biome is one of the most important of all marine biomes. It is home to more than 25% of all known marine wildlife, even though it only covers o.o1% of the ocean floor. Coral reefs are among some of the world’s richest ecosystems, beaten only by tropical rainforests in plant and animal diversity. In order to thrive the reefs depend on a very delicate combination of elements. In order to maintain a healthy reef the temperature, salinity, light, oxygen and nutrients have to stay within an acceptable range of these requirements. Failure to do so will throw off the delicate balance of the community and life for all creatures can be severely disrupted. There are many different factors negatively affecting reefs around the world today including; poulltion, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, disease, dynamite fishing and global warming. Some of these reasons are linked to each other but each is...
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