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.
"Coral reefs… are fragile structures living within a narrow range of temperature, clarity, salinity and chemistry. Even a slight increase in ocean temperature, or increased CO2… can cause stresses such as bleaching… These stresses slow the rate of growth of the corrals… With some 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs now losing productivity, it’s becoming a global crisis and a scientific mystery."
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.
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
The Florida Reef provides many benefits to our world. The coral living in it are part of the phylum Cnidaria which a group of invertebrates. Though it may provide many benefits to us, we provide many dangers to it. Our debris and overfishing can damage the Florida reef along with many other coral reefs. Not only that, due to over excessive tourists and their recklessness, we are endangering the Florida Reef even more. So how can human action improve the ocean ecosystem that is the home to the many species of the Florida reef? One is by polluting less. We can also fish more carefully and help reduce runoff. We can help the Florida Reef and it can continue to benefit us.
Located in tropical ocean waters, coral reefs provide priceless resources to both human and marine life. The leading natural cause of destruction among the coral reefs is global warming. Other natural causes are earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. The destruction to the coral reefs from these natural disasters is minimal compared to the dangers caused by man. Man-made destruction has a much wider impact on the health of the coral reefs. This destruction includes over-fishing, damage from anchors, aquarium industry, overgrowth of seaweed, and being smothered by sediments.
One of the most diverse and biologically rich marine ecosystems is the coral reef. Almost every ecosystem has a greater purpose, coral reef are no exception. For instance they serve as barriers for hurricanes, and other catastrophic storms, their chemicals treat diseases, and one of the most important function is they are a major source of food for humans. But that is just the benefits for humans, they provide shelter and food for numerous organisms, such as fish, turtles, dolphins, and several other marine life.
Finally, there are millions of species who live in the coral reef. It is used both for shelter and for a food supply. There is a vast amount of trawlers that come through each year to dredge the ocean. But think about what would happen if the coral reefs disappear. All the species that depend on the reef for shelter would die. And all the species who hunt for food there would also die. Dredging the ocean rips apart the coral reefs wether that was meant to happen or not. If the natural beauty of the reefs and the security it brings to animals dissapeared, it would be a major
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs contribute to 200 million jobs while providing food for over a billion global citizens. The reefs are more than just something one frequents while on a cruise ship or vacation, they are an integral part of our world economy (NOAA). As a subsidiary office to the US Department of Commerce, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (NCRCP) aims to "make the most of limited resources and to have the largest impact to reverse general declines in coral reef health" (NOAA). Whether a student doing research, an environmental activist looking to volunteer, or a graduate seeking employment the NCRCP website provides a vast database of evidence and educational resources that
Coral Reefs have a huge role in our environment, even though they only make up less than one percent of the oceans' ecosystems. They provide shelter for twenty-five percent of marine species, protect shorelines, support fishing industries, provide money from tourism, and could help scientists discover the next, big, medical breakthrough(Oceans and Coasts). Coral reefs are so biodiverse, they are referred to as ‘the Tropical Rainforests of the Oceans’. These diverse ecosystems are found in shallow circumtropical waters along the shore of continents. Corals thrive in waters that have poor nutrition and they have certain tolerance levels of water temperature, salinity, UV radiation, opacity, and nutrient quantities. (Buchheim)
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
Coral Reefs today are among the most diverse and economically valuable ecosystems, are they worth saving? Today coral reefs also known as the "rain forests of the sea" cover less than 1% of the ocean's surface and less than 2% of the ocean's bottom. Coral reefs are essential spawning, nursery, breeding, and feeding grounds for numerous number of different organisms. Coral reefs support 4,000 species of fish and 800 hard coral species. Corals are related to sea anemones and they all share the same structure. Corals in our oceans are in danger with a quarter of the oceans species relying on them for food and shelter we need to make sure they stay around. Corals should never be touched it won't kill it but it will become stressed and expel all the algae from its system and cause the coral to turn white and eventually die which is called bleaching. Another way they become bleached is when the temperature of the ocean rises this will also cause the corals to stress. Today the value of the coral reefs was estimated at 172 billion dollars per year providing food, protection for shorelines, jobs based on tourism, and even medicines. Many people believe that the coral reefs are very vulnerable and valuable in a number of different ways but there not sure it will maintain its value once they find a way to protect these corals and the value of them would cover the cost. Although some people may argue that coral reefs are valuable, we must also take into consideration the amount of