Coral Reefs

Topics: Coral reef, Ecosystem, Coral Pages: 2 (372 words) Published: September 1, 2013
Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. They are made up not only of hard and soft corals, but also sponges, crustaceans, mollusks, fish, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and much more. Reef systems serve as barriers protecting many coastal populations and developments from storm damage; they support commercial fisheries; they serve as major tourist attractions; and they hold the possibility of unimagined medicinal compounds in the diverse life forms within them There is a number of components involved in the Coral Reef ecosystem

Coral Reefs are reefs composed mainly of coral and other organic matter of which parts have solidified into limestone. Coral Reefs are said to be the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth, home to wide range of fish and coral species.

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Coral Reefs contain two major features to its ecosystem, Abiotic or Biotic factors. In other words non-living and living components. The Abiotic factors of a Coral Reef refer to components such as temperature, sunlight, oxygen, water, sand, minerals and carbon dioxide. The Biotic factors of a Coral Reef contain components such as fish, seashells, sharks, squid and shrimp.

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Corals provide essential habitat structure and energy in coral reef systems, facilitating the existence of numerous reef associated species. Indo-Pacific coral reefs are home to over 600 species of hard corals (also called stony corals or scleractinian corals), and 4000-5000 species of reef fishes. There are strong mutual dependencies between the reef-building corals and reef-inhabiting fishes, with many fish species depending on corals for food and habitat, while corals depend on the grazing by certain fishes for reproductive success. Even the spread of coral diseases may be mitigated by fishes. This article summarises what is known about these intricate mutual relationships.


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This food chain has been affected...

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