coral reefs

where they are found

conditions for a reef to grow

flora

fauna

where they are found

global arias

tropic of capricorns and tropic of cancer

aria

110,000 square miles

oceans

Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf

conditions

clear water

corals need clear water that lets sunlight through they do not thrive well when the water is opaque

warm water temperature

reef building corals need warm water to survive

corals generally live in water temperatures of 20-32 degrees centigrade

clean salty water

corals are sensitive to pollution and sediment and corals need salt water to survive and require a certain balance in the ratio of salt to water

flora

mangroves and seagrasses

they are the only two types of true plants that often occur within coral reef complexes

algae

they produce energy through photosynthesis giving the coral its vibrant range of colours

fauna

polyp

coral reefs are made up of thousands of coral polyps which live together in reefs or colonies

parrot fish

they feed directly on polyps, tearing coral to get to them

other fauna include starfish, clams, eels, molluscs, crustaceans and dugongs

dangers to reefs

A recent report estimated that 75 percent of remaining coral reefs are currently threatened, and many have already been lost.

Warming waters

Rising seawater temperature as a result of climate change is one of the most serious causes of stress to corals throughout the world.

Ocean acidification

Seawater absorbs some of the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, causing the oceans to become more acidic. As a result, the oceans’ acidity has increased by 25 percent over the past 200 years. The acid dissolves coral skeletons and make it more difficult for corals to grow.

Credits:

Created with images by diongillard - "Coral 1" • sai_ben89 - "Briareum sp." • NOAA Photo Library - "reef1253" • eutrophication&hypoxia - "Coral Reef, Florida" • NOAA Photo Library - "reef0809" • edanley - "Acan (Fire and Ice?)" • edanley - "Green Stylophora" • NOAA Photo Library - "reef0836" • NOAA Photo Library - "expl0924" • q.phia - "blade wakatobi, 13 march, 2015 (11)" • Jorge Lascar - "Diving at the The Great Barrier Reef" • Jorge Lascar - "Diving at the The Great Barrier Reef"

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