The Environment Of Marine Life

833 Words Oct 30th, 2014 4 Pages
Oceans occupy 75% of earth’s surface and is a home for millions of species that live under water. There exists another world under the ocean. According to FMAP (Future of Marine Animal Populations), a project of the International census of Marine Life (2000 - 2010) aimed at describing the distribution and diversity of marine life, it is predicted that out of 8.7 million species that live on earth, 2.1 million live on Earth [1]. It is estimated that over 1 million undiscovered species are living in and around the reefs. Coral reefs hold more number of species per unit area than any other water bodies. Coral reefs hold the highest biodiversity, because the corals provide food and also protect from predators besides providing the shelter for a variety of organisms. [2, 4].
Coral reefs are built by small colonial species called coral polyps, by converting the carbon dioxide absorbed by sea from the environment into limestone. The reef building corals contain an algae called zooxanthellae in their tissues that helps the corals to synthesize calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate is then attached to some hard surface like the edge of an island or along the sea shore. Based on how the calcium carbonate is attached to the surface, there are three types of reefs: fringing, barrier or atoll [3].
Fringing reefs are the most common type of reefs that grow seawards, forming a border along the boundary of an Island. Barrier reefs are similar to fringing, but they are formed at a…
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