Coral Reefs maddie estes

Corals are little marine animals that produce a hard skeleton. Corals have many different shapes,sizes,and colors. Coral Reefs are made up of of small animals called Polyps. Many polyps add up to form a structure of a Coral Reef.

Coral Reefs are usually found in shallow water but some go deeper. They live at a depth less than 150 feet. The larger Corals can be found in warmer portions of water. The Corals can be found in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Ocean, and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Coral Reefs are composed of many different species. More than forty different species form the large reefs. Many other species make their homes around them. About one-third of all marine fish species live part of their lives on Coral Reefs.
Coral Reefs eat small animals called Plankton as well as algae . The algae get their food from the sun. Coral Reefs form close to the surface of water and in clear water where the sun can feed the algae.
There are three main types of Coral Reefs: Fringing Reefs, Barrier Reefs, and Atolls. Charles Darwin was first to view the three main Reefs. Charles spent most of his time researching in the Indo Pacific region. Charles located where the main types occur.
The Fringing Reef is by far the most common out of the three. The Barrier Reef is by far the less common than the other two. The Fringing Reef grows close to the shoreline. The Barrier Reef grows further from the shoreline. The Atoll is a ring of coral. As the coral grows up, the island sinks into the ocean and just the ring of coral is left. Reefs grow very slowly.
After a period of time, Coral Reefs develop zones. There are three types of zones: the Inner Coral Reef, the Coral Reef Crest, and the Outer Coral Reef. The Inner Coral Reef is sometimes used when referring to the shore side part of a Reef. The Coral Reef Crest is the area where corals experience high water energy from waves. The Outer Coral Reef is the side of the Coral Reef facing the ocean. The Lagoon can form between the land or reef. Corals lower on the Outer Coral Reef often lack zooxantellae which means they get most of their nutrients from the water.
The Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist destination with over two million visitors each year. The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual Reefs. The Great Barrier Reef has over 900 islands. The Barrier Reef stretches over 2,600 kilometers. The Great Barrier Reef has experienced two mass bleaching events.
Warmer ocean temperatures put stress on Coral Reefs and will lead to bleaching. When water is too warm,Corals will expell algae. When a Coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but Corals are under more stress. Corals will turn completely white when they are bleached. Not all bleaching events are due to warm temperatures. In 2010, cold water temperatures caused a Coral bleaching and death. Water dropped 12.06 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lower than regular. In 2005, the U.S. lost half of Coral Reefs due to massive bleaching.
Coral Reefs provide many services to humans such as food,shoreline protection, and medicines. Coral Reefs protect coastlines from storms and provide a lot of money to people.
There are major threats to Coral Reefs and their habitats. There are six major ones. The destructive fishing practices includes Cynaide Fishing and Bottom Trawling. Bottom Trawling is the greatest to Cold Coral Reefs. The over fishing affects the ecological balance of Coral Reef communities. The careless tourism and careless boating,diving,snorkeling,and fishing happens all around the world. People touch reefs,collecting Corals,and dropping anchors on reefs. The pollution affects urban and industrial waste,sewage,and oil pollution are damaging reefs. The coral mining makes live Coral move from reefs for use as bricks,road-fill,or cement. The climate change is when Corals can not survive if the water temperature is too high.

Works Cited

Coral Reef Zones. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"Basic Facts About Coral Reefs." Defenders of Wildlife. 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"Biomes." Ducksters Educational Site. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

"Coral." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 Feb. 2017. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

"Coral Reef Facts." Coral Reef Facts and Information. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"Coral Reefs: Threats." WWF. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"Facts About The Great Barrier Reef." Great Barrier Reef. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "What Is Coral Bleaching?" NOAA's National Ocean Service. 15 Mar. 2010. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.

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Created with images by Gail Frederick - "PC270050a-Coral reef as seen from the glass-bottom boat"

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