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Information about CoralReefslauren

Published on March 11, 2014

Author: cezinhomartin


Coral Reefs: Coral Reefs By: Lauren F Classification: Classification Phylum: Cnidaria Class: Anthozoa Radically symmetric Sessile animals Structure: Structure Made up of hundreds of thousands polyps Consists of three layers: 1. outer epidermis 2. inner layer of cells lining the gastrovascular cavity, which carries out digestion 3. mesoglea- which lies in between Ring of tentacles that surround the mouth which helps capture food Tentacles contain stinging cells called nematocysts which further aid in capturing food Opens at only one end Calcium carbonate is secreted to build a protective home for coral polyps called a calyx The structure of a coral polyp Biology: Biology Best grow in sunny, shallow clear water- helps coral get sunlight , which is essential in order to carry out photosynthesis Usually don’t grow deeper than 40m and prefer salt water Coral polyps have a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae Zooxanthellae - single celled algae carry out photosynthesis in order for the coral polyp to receive nutrients Coral gives a protective home to the algae, and in return the algae supplies the coral with oxygen and helps it to remove wastes Zooxanthellae provides coral with organic products such as glucose, glycerol, and amino acids which are essential in producing protein, fats and carbohydrates Cyanobacteria provide soluble nitrates for coral reefs through nitrogen fixation Corals feed upon zooplankton Zooxanthellae Coral Polyps Biology Cont.: Biology Cont. Can reproduce sexually and asexually Reproductive cells found in the mesentery membranes Internally fertilized eggs are gathered inside polyp and become a planula (tiny larva) Externally fertilized eggs are developed through synchronized spawning; polyps take turn releasing eggs and sperm into the water Spawning depends on water temperature, time of year, tidal and lunar cycles Coral spawning Cool Facts: Cool Facts One of the oldest ecosystems on Earth Largest living structure on Earth Without coral reefs, parts of Florida would be underwater Have been used to treat cancer, HIV, cardiovascular diseases along with ulcers Provide 375 billion dollars a year in goods and services Their limestone skeletons have been used for human bone grafts Protect coasts from wave erosion 10% of the worlds reefs have been destroyed Over 70% of the coral reefs in the Philippines have been destroyed Home to 25% of all marine life Coral is found in about 100 countries Importance of Coral Reefs: Importance of Coral Reefs Home to many organisms and species of fish Fishery and nursery area- important economically Provides many people with income Provide a protective barrier from erosion to coastlines Provide information on changes in water quality (because Coral Reefs are very sensitive) Tourist attractions Control the amount of carbon dioxide in the water Jewelry made from coral The Destruction of Coral Reefs: The Destruction of Coral Reefs Pollution - poorly managed land development Fish Trade- over-fishing * Use of cyanide to capture fish (80-90% of exported fish from the Philippines are caught with the use of sodium cyanide) Dynamite Fishing- not only kills fish, but also coral Coral Bleaching- caused by global warming- the high temperatures kills the zooxanthellae that provide the coral with nutrients Ocean Acidification- the decrease in the ocean’s surface pH level, increases the amount of CO2 dissolved in the oceans African and Asia dust outbreaks- the dust that blows into the oceans declines the health of the coral reefs Examples: Examples The Great Barrier Reef- Queensland, Australia; the largest coral reef system The Belize Barrier Reef- along the coast of Belize down to the Bay Islands of Honduras; second largest coral reef system The Red Sea Coral Reef- coast of Egypt and Saudi Arabia Pulley Ridge- Florida; deepest photosynthetic coral reef The New Caledonia Barrier Reef- length of about 1500km The Great Barrier Reef is on the northeastern coat of Australia. g The Belize Barrier Reef Types of Coral Reefs: Types of Coral Reefs Atoll Reef- extends all around a lagoon without a central island * when an island sinks below the ocean’s surface Fringing Reef- directly attached to shore * grow up to the edge of the shore Barrier Reef- separated from mainland by lagoon * only grow when there is a change of sea level on the coast adjacent from it * grow where land is sinking faster in the water Example of a fringing reef Works Sited : Works Sited The Biological Sciences: State University of New York at Stony Brook Solcomhouse Ocean World Wikipedia Habitat Protection This site provides many great example of the different types of corals and the organisms that live within them This site contains information on the many ways that Coral Reefs are being destroyed and a great breakdown of its structure This site gives the types of coral reefs and provides excellent pictures that help further depict the different types. This site is a great because it covers everything you need to know about coral reefs; biology, structure, example, location etc. This site explains the importance of Coral Reefs to our environment

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