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Coral Reefs.

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Coral Reefs Analyse the conditions favourable for the formation of coral reefs. (8 Marks) Coral can be found from the waters surface to depths of 6000. The majority of coral is usually found at depths of less than 46 metres, as this is where sunlight is able to penetrate. Sunlight is necessary for these corals to thrive and grow. Reefs tend to grow faster in clear water. As this allows light to reach the symbiotic algae living within the coral polp's tissue. Furthermore coral reef development is generally more abundant in areas that are subject to strong wave action. As waves carry food, nutrients and oxygen; distribute coral larvae and prevent sediment from settling on the coral reef. Other conditions favourable for the growth of coral are warm sea temperatures (20 - 28 centigrade). ...read more.


As a result, the coral loses its coloration. Without zooxanthellae, the coral polyps have little energy available for growth or reproduction. Furthermore tropical storms can strip corals from miles of reef habitat. Also human threat include ocean pollution which poisons coral polyps. Pollution takes on many forms including oil slicks, pesticides, heavy metals and garbage. Fertiliser runoff and untreated sewage introduce added nutrients to coastal ecosystems. These elevated nutrient levels promote algae growth , this can overwhelm and smother the polyps. Also deforestation leads to topsoil being washed down into coastal ecosystems. Soil that settles on reefs smothers coral polyps and blocks out the sunlight needed for corals to live. Coupled to this coastal developments and dredging ravages reefs. This development includes building seaside, homes, hotels and harbours. ...read more.


There are numerous ways in which corals can be protected. Firstly corals should not be collected alive or dead. United states federal government has prohibited the removal or destruction of corals from all areas of the continental shelf within a 3 mile radius. Furthermore in waters off Florida collection of dead coral is regulated by the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission. Schemes are in progress phasing out all collection of dead coral. The convention on international Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora regulates trade of certain animals and plants. Lastly coral can be preserved, the establishment of marine sanctuaries or preserves may help ensure the availability of this ecosystem in years to come. An example of this is The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established in 1975. ?? ?? ?? ?? Angela Strachan ...read more.

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