• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Coral Reefs.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Coral Reefs A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem. They are the largest animal-made structures in the world. Coral reefs occur in mainly nutrient-deficient waters in tropical regions, which have warm waters of about 18-30�C. A coral is a living organism because it consumes food, excretes, breathes and reproduces. The coral has a white skeleton made up of limestone rock, which also helps to keep it rigid. Reef-building corals are brightly coloured organisms built by small animals called coral polyps. The polyp has stinging tentacles that beat backwards and forwards and hairs called triggers that help to catch the coral's food, chiefly phytoplankton (small food-producing plankton). ...read more.

Middle

Human Impact Pollution from various human sources disturbs the clarity of the water and causes it to turn cloudy, so sunlight cannot enter and the algae cannot photosynthesise. Coral is very delicate as far as temperature is concerned. So, the warming of global seas affects them. When the temperatures get relatively high, coral starts sweating and some of the algae slowly die. When the temperature gets too much high, corals expel the algae and no energy is left in it. El Nino, a weather phenomenon, caused some sea temperatures to rise so much as 5�. Many corals bleached and became white and died because their algae were expelled. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some divers and snorkellers have done more good than bad. Exploration of the coral reef ecosystem sometimes helps in conservation. But, lost snorkelling or diving equipment can strangle reefs. Toilet effluent and dumping of factory pollution and rubbish highly pollutes the sea. Jet ski's and speedboats can cut off corals. Sediment from construction sites also falls into the sea and affects the ecosystem. SOME INTERESTING STATISTICS: Less than 1% of the sea surface is coral. 30% of this coral is already dead. The Red Sea is 3,400 metres deep and the water comes from the Indian Ocean. Evaporation causes salt water and fresh water to mix but the salt does not evaporate. 40% of the water is salt, so lots of heat can be absorbed. In the middle of the ocean, there is no pollution. Sharks are the apex predators. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. Ecosystems at Risk - the Great Barrier Reef

    * Renewable energy sources (see Figures 1.8, 1.9, 1.10 below) * The Carbon tax * Reducing waste and recycling * Increased public transport (see Figure 1.11 below) Effectiveness Climate change is a threat imposed not only to the Great Barrier Reef, but to the entire world.

  2. Anthropocentric factors that affect the coral reefs in the Thousand Islands

    Reefs have also been used as bone grafting material. Reefs also protect beaches because reefs are like walls. They protect beaches from the pounding of the ocean waves. For example, in the 2004 tsunami, some coastlines were spared further damage because of healthy reefs. As a result, losing coral reefs will have an effect on the ecosystem surrounding it

  1. The Sustainable Management of Coral Reefs

    The starfish in fact were protecting the coral and the removal of them ended up exposing the coral to more threats. The Sinai Peninsula in Egypt is mainly affected by Tourists. Due to advances in aviation flying time from Europe is now within five hours.

  2. Coral Reefs.

    Firstly natural causes include changes in sea level. A drop in sea level exposes coral; a rise in sea level decreases the amount of sunlight reaching the reefs. Also coral diseases can wipe out entire strands of reef. Coral bleaching occurs when coral expels its symbotic zooxanthellae.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work