Coral reefs exist all over the world and are generally known as being one of the most diverse, intricate and beautiful of all existing marine habitats. They have many varying structures which are developed by algae and are symbiotic with various reef building corals which are referred to as, zooxanthellae (algae). There are many other factors such as, coralline algae, sponges and other various organisms that are combined with a number of cementation processes which also contribute to reef growth, (CORAL REEFS, 2015).
The ocean is two-thirds of our planet a vast blue landscape home to many biomes which according to Boyce Thorne-Miller “(ecosystem types) corresponding to sets of environmental conditions that vary with depth, latitude, and longitude” (16). However, the ocean and its biomes is under attack from the changing environment. We can see this through coral reef biomes as they make their home near the shores. Through coral reefs we can view the effects that these changes have on the ocean through how the coral reef biome is affected. Humans are a danger to the coral reefs and the wildlife that resides in the biome. The pollution being released into the environment is poisoning the coral and causes death and malformation to the wildlife. The ocean is changing due to global warming which is causing a change in the temperature and rising water levels leading to a change in the stabile areas coral can survive. The increasing acidification of the ocean is causing the coral reefs to die. I will be looking at the effects these issues cause to coral reefs biomes and the ocean to see the similarities in how they affect both.
Consisting of less than 1% of the world oceans, the coral reefs are ancient animals comprising of thin calcium carbonate deposits within the photic layer. Aside from its biologically diverse ecosystems, coral reefs are major source of food for millions and provides habitats and nursery areas for many marine organisms. Coral reefs also act as a physical buffer to protect the coastlines from tropical storms and erosion. In addition, many local communities rely on coral reefs to generate an income through activities such as fishing and diving. However, 75% of the coral reefs are under threat from induced impacts of humans and climate change (Burke, et al., 2011). This essay looks at the human impacts constantly being inflicted on coral reefs.
First, I am going to talk about the importance of coral reefs. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. They are home to 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard coral, and hundreds of other species. Scientists believe that there are another 1 to 8 million unidentified species (NOAA). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, new drugs are being developed from
Coral reef ecosystems around the globe are threatened by human interferences and climate change. This has led to many scientists conducting studies on global coral reef ecosystems to gain a better understanding of the cause and effects of coral reef damage. In both Hodgson’s (1999) and Carpenter et al.’s (2008) studies, they are aware of the continuous degradation of global coral reef ecosystems. Hodgson's study involved conducting a survey on global coral reef ecosystems to see whether human actions were affecting the health of supposed pristine Coral reefs. Carpenter et al. incorporated Hodgson’s study into a compiled study about the possible extinction of reef building corals due to climate change and anthropogenic effects. Carpenter’s
There are multiple human factors that can and are affecting the coral reef ecosystems globally. One of the simpler ones is overfishing practices on the reef. An influx of people living in the tropics has caused major stress on coral reefs as a main food source. This can cause major effects on not only fish species, but the whole ecosystem. One article from volume 5, number 9 of the Conservation biology journal written in 1995 by Callum M Roberts from the University of the Virgin Islands reported that overfishing on the coral reef leads to a reduction of species biodiversity, and potential localised extinction of both the target species and other species that are indiscriminately fished from the coral reef. Loss of keystone species, for example, predators, such as triggerfish and pufferfish, of echinoderms, such as sea urchins, through overfishing can affect not just fish communities but the entire ecosystem, leading to major effects on reef processes (Callum M Roberts).
The key environmental points are that coral reefs provide important ecosystem goods and services for the maritime tropical and subtropical nations. Within the past two centuries, the main drivers of massive acceleration in the decrease of coral reef species that have caused widespread changes in reef ecosystems has been due to the direct and indirect effects of overfishing and pollution during agriculture and land development. Since markets for fish have gone global, along with other natural resources, reduced stocks of herbivorous fish and the nutrients from land-based activities have caused corals to be replaced with fleshy seaweed.
This wasn't the only report arguing the concern of the Great Barrier Reef. Early this year, one of the Wall Street Journal reports was "Australia Failing to Protect Great Barrier Reef, Report Says; Report Commissioned By WWF Finds Dumping From Port Developments Having Damaging Effects" this report written by Rebecca Thurlow addressed the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef and WWF addressing the benefits towards the a Great Barrier Reef and other world heritage sites to the Australian government. They called upon the government to ban the dumping of dredge waste inside the entire World Heritage Sites. Alternatively, the government argued that in an urgent effort to keep it off the endangered list, it is the best managed marine ecosystem in the
According to “Great Barrier Reef Is Imperiled, Much of It Dying or Dead”, published March, 16, 2017, Australia’s coral reefs were believed to be under tremendous danger; however, scientific evidence has now solidified that prediction. Over three-fourths of the reefs off the coast are dead despite the slim chance of recovery. This event has impacted not only the ecosystem, but society and researchers as well.
Life along the Great Barrier Reef is full of dangers when you're a tiny clown fish. And for Marlin, a single parent determined to protect his only son, Nemo, there are constant fears and anxieties. When it comes time for Nemo to leave the protective shelter of his sea anemone home for the first day of school, Marlin nervously accompanies him and agonizes over his every move. When Nemo defies his father and swims beyond the reef's awesome "drop off" to investigate a boat, he is suddenly scooped up by a diver as Marlin helplessly watches.
Coral reefs have been around for thousands of years, recently now many are being damaged beyond repair. Around two-thirds of coral reefs worldwide have serious damage and are under big threat. Destructive fishing and overfishing affect the ecological balance of coral reefs and will lead to damage of the habitat. While pollution, careless tourism and climate change are some more major issues for coral reefs today. Coral reefs are important to us because they support enormous biodiversity, but they also provide many goods and are very valuable.
The coral reefs are necessary to ecosystems and humans. The coral reefs are important to ocean life because 9 million marine species cannot live without corals because corals are their food and shelter. Though there only 0.1 percent place have been covered by the
Coral reefs are large societies of small living organisms. They are made up of millions of various creatures including fish, starfish, sea urchins, and so much more. Despite the fact that coral reefs make up fewer than one percentage of the Earth’s surface, coral reefs are still one of the greatest diversified ecosystems in the world due to the creatures that live in and around the reefs. Coral reefs are located in shallow, warm waters in the tropics around the Bahamas, in the Red Sea, and near the Hawaiian islands. The largest coral reefs are the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea Coral Reef, and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. (“The World’s 10 Largest Coral Reefs”)