Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Coral Reefs :: essays research papers

Research Paper on Coral Reefs and their Habitat Uploaded by Buster57 on Dec 21, 2004 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Coral Reefs Coral reefs are complex and diverse habitat. They are perhaps on of the most interesting and colorful ecosystems to be found in the marine environment. They are very unique in many ways. Coral reefs play many important poles in the marine world. They must have certain conditions to be formed, and to survive. Lots of different sea life rely on reefs for habitat and sources of food, including some endangered species. Coral reefs are perhaps one of the greatest yet least known of wonders of our world. The formation of a coral reef is a long and slow process, taking about a year for a reef to grow about half an inch. Many factors affect the growth of the coral. The general pattern of coral reefs is a continuous cycle of growth and destruction, resulting from the growth of the coral and destructive activities of animals and storms. This pattern serves to keep the coral reef alive and at a fairly constant level. Coral reefs must have certain conditions to survive. They must be in reasonably shallow water. Low levels of sedimentation in the water are very important too, because too many sediments in the water can block the sunlight needed for the coral reefs. Because of the sunlight required for reefs to survive, they can only grow to depths of 45 meters deep. They only form in tropical seas and areas that stay above 20 degrees Celsius. The amount of oxygen is also important. Oxygen is produced in the daytime by plant photosynthesis, but the level drops dramatically at night. Ocean wa ves and water movement play a part in the amount of oxygen in the water as well, this allows diffusion of oxygen into the surface levels. There are three different kinds of coral reefs. There are fringing, barrier, and atoll. Fringing reefs are attached to margins of an island or continent, rough, table like surface, as much as 1 kilometer wide. On their seaward side they slope steeply to the ocean floor. Fringing reefs grow in shallow water near the shore and prefer dry climates with limited river runoff. There are also barrier reefs, which are similar to fringing but separated from mainland with a lagoon. The number of barrier reefs is greatly increasing due to global warming, because of the rise of the water’s level.

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