Coral Reef Structure

Good Essays
Coral reefs are communities to the sea and home to many living creatures and different types of organisms, as well as about one-fourth of the oceans population. Coral reefs are made up of animals called polyps that will remain in one place, acting as the main structure of the reef itself, these animals have a hard almost skeleton like structure. Scientists who study coral reefs have categorized them into three different types of reefs; Barrier reefs, Atolls, and Fringing reefs. Coral reefs are put into these categories based on their size, shaped and close proximity to land. Although corals are grouped together, "An individual coral is known as a polyp, a very small and simple organism consisting mostly of a stomach topped by a tentacle-bearing …show more content…
Most reefs can tolerate temperature as high a forty degrees celsius for an extended period of time. They also require large amount of salt in their water ranging from between 32-42 parts per thousand. As well as salt, they also need to be in fairly clear waters to allow light to provide energy, the deeper the coral reef goes, the less creatures are found living in them. High levels of suspended sediments can smother the colonies to death. Even though there are a large amount of coral reefs spread out over the globe when you put them together there are not very many of them. "Despite how important coral reefs are to life in the ocean, all of them in the world add up to less than one percent of the sea floor – an area about the size of France" (Defenders.org). Being such an important part of the oceans ecosystem, it's surprising that they take up such a small amount of space on the ocean floor. Light is an important factor in the growth and sustainability of these ecosystems. Without light these reefs won't be able to grow and prosper, without these reefs waves that are hitting the shores would be much higher and powerful, coral reefs provide a barrier that helps protect the large amount of energy that comes from waves. Off the north east coast of Australia lies the largest coral reef in the world, known as the "Great …show more content…
Over the last few years there has also been a large rise in climate causing the oceans to heat up. The oceans heating up cause the carbon dioxide in the water to rise causing a bleaching effect on the coral, which is extremely dangerous because it prevents the coral from growing and causes them to calcify. This issue has caused many conservationist to worry about the future of reefs. According to National Geographic this is becoming a large problem because of how long it takes coral to actually mature. "That spells trouble for corals, which often take 15 years to reach sexual maturity and reproduce only once a year" (As Oceans Heat Up, a Race to Save World's Coral Reefs). National Geographic along with other programs have started many conservations and programs to help slow down the dying rate of the reefs. A biological oceanographer at the University of Miami gave this quote to National Geographic, "So a lot of our efforts are to give first aid to buy time until we can fix the problem, like CO2 [levels]. We can make a difference. It's not that hard" (As Oceans Heat Up, A Race to Save World's Coral Reefs). This just shows that with everyone's help we can all change the future of these

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Coral Reef Essay

    • 497 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Our coral reefs along our Hawaiian Islands are in danger. The Hawaiian Coral Reefs suffer from degradation, which began about 100 years ago from westerners arriving and increasing. We need to do something to prevent our coral reefs from being in harm. They are suffering from oil spills, overfishing, bleaching, and careless tourists. In order for us to make a change, we have to research and find for solutions.…

    • 497 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coral Reef Research Paper

    • 843 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Coral reefs are one of the world’s hidden treasures. In a coral reef, you can find anything from plants to certain types of animals. Some of the coral that you might see can be dangerous and fatal to humans. While some coral reefs are dangerous, others aren’t. There are a lot of things in a coral reef and many topics worth being discussed, but only three topics will be touched on throughout this paper. The first topic is the food web within the coral reefs; the second topic being discussed will be the different types of coral reefs; the third topic to be discussed will be where coral reefs can be found.…

    • 843 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Coral Reef Research Paper

    • 1731 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Coral reefs are one of nature's riches ecosystems with a diverse existence of life which is ultimately quite complex. They are a colorful ecosystem that plays an important role in the marine world and the human world as well. They are home to countless plants and animals, a source of food, medicines and one of the unique wonders of our world. While they might bring the image of life near a tropical paradise, there is much more to the coral reef than its beauty. These beauties are home to a diverse population that benefits humans, each type in its own way. But will we be able to save these natural wonders?…

    • 1731 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reefs are important ecosystems as the are home to an immense amount of biodiversity and are essential in the cycle of life…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    McClellan, Kate. "Coral degradation through destructive fishing practices". The Encyclopedia of Earth. November 22, 2009 <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Coral_degradation_through_destructive_fishing_practices>.…

    • 1704 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    With the global climate changing so are the coral like many other things and sadly they are dying off because of the temperature changing. Which is causing coral reef bleaching which is when the whitening of diverse invertebrate taxa it is caused by when zooxanthellae decline and or the concentration of photosynthetic pigments within the zooxanthellae…

    • 1178 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay On Coral Reef

    • 693 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Coral reef and Desert ecosystem. The coral reef and desert ecosystem can be very similar or very different.The difference between the biotic and abiotic factors in the coral reef and the desert the ones in the coral reef live under water ,and in the desert none of them live under water only some of the fish do. Some of the biotic animals in the coral reef are dolphins and seals. bivalves, gastropods, tunicates, sponges, polychaete and feather duster worms, some corals, sea urchins, some crabs, green sea turtles, and herbivorous fish.Large reef fish, sharks, eels and barracudas. Some of the biotic animals in the desert are the gerbil, jerboa, Cape hare, desert hedgehog, barbary sheep, dorcas gazelle, sand fox, common jackal, spotted hyena, and the slender mongoose. Some of the biotic plants in the desert are the cypress, olive, and mastic trees aacia, artemisia, doum palm, oleander, date palm, and thyme trees. The coral reef is part of an ocean biome which is a big group of very similar ecosystems.…

    • 693 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    -Outline 2 physical characteristics of the Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system. It is located on the northeast coast of Queensland next to the Pacific Ocean. The reef extends from the Torres Straight Islands to Sandy Cape near Fraser Island. Nearly 3,000 individual coral reefs and some 300 small coral islands form the reef, which ranks as the world's largest structure made by living organisms .The reef is approximately 37,000 square kilometers, accounting for 13% of the world's total coral reefs. In 1975, The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were established. The purpose of this was to conserve this area for the benefit of present and future generations by balancing conservation and human use. The actual park covers 344,800 square kilometers by covering the waters surrounding the reef. The reef's outer edge ranges from as close as 30 km to the Australian mainland, to as far as 250 km .…

    • 2486 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coral reefs inhabit many coastal regions around Caribbean islands. These reefs are at once magnificently beautiful yet very fragile and sensitive to even the slightest variation in the waters around it. Coral reefs perform a vital socio- economic and socio-cultural function in the Caribbean. Apart from it being important to human society for its aesthetic appeal, the reefs are also important because of its functions as a tidal break, fish nursery and part of an economic thrust in attracting tourists to the Caribbean.…

    • 687 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Coral Reefs

    • 759 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Hard coral builds reefs and develop outer skeletons, which become the base on which the reef grows.…

    • 759 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The purpose of this paper is examine the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs at multiple levels. These levels include: the calcification rates of the coral reef community, the competitive interaction among corals and macroalgae, and the development and settlement of coral primary polyps. For the purpose of this paper, a review of various scientific studies will be conducted to formulate a conclusion as to how each of these different factors are affected by the current pH of the ocean. and will be affected at the low predicted pH of the…

    • 1242 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Coral Reef

    • 2578 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Almost every one of us have heard and most of you have seen the Coral reefs but did you know what actually these are:…

    • 2578 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    A coral reef is very crucial; coral reefs have many jobs in the ocean. These are some: “They remove and recycle carbon dioxide…”, Reefs can assist with strong waves and…

    • 1492 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Phylum Cndaria

    • 250 Words
    • 1 Page

    Corals are invertebrates that live in the sea. They are made up of many individual, identical polyps. Corals are mostly found in reefs, the biggest being The Great Reef, off the coast of Australia. Many different species of fish live in and around coral to protect themselves from predators.…

    • 250 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Summary: Bauer provides information how the functions of the coral reefs. For example, coral reefs provides protection to coastlines and they provide habitat for marine organisms. She then talks about how corals are important because they generate jobs for the fishing industries and a billion dollar industry for the Australian economy. Bauer also gives examples of what organizations has been created to help protect these coral because without them they would have a negative effect on the ecosystem and a negative effect on the economy.…

    • 403 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays