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Coral Ecosystems

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What are Coral Ecosystems Like? By Daniel Goode 1) - There are no coral reefs off the coast of the United Kingdom because the climate is not suitable for sustaining this form of life; there is much pollution caused mainly by passenger and cargo ships; this can cut out sunlight passing through the water which is necessary for the coral reef to survive; it also contributes towards poor water quality which has been shown to spread infectious diseases throughout the coral. The average temperature is also a hugely important factor; for coral to thrive the temperature must be between 25-30oC, however the UK has an average temperature of 13oC and therefore would not be suitable. - Coral reefs cannot be formed close to areas in which there are large amounts of sediment (such as near various river estuaries); this is because of two main reasons. Firstly, when suspended in water, the sediment severely reduces the amount of light entering the water and thus there is not enough energy provided for the ecosystem. Secondly, as the sediment settles, it may bury the corals. ...read more.


This means that the concentration of zooxanthellae within the coral tissue becomes low and coral bleaching occurs. Waste and pollution have also been proved to spread infectious diseases throughout the coral. Runoff from human activities such as road building and farming can cause soil with many nutrients to mix into the sea, causing many negative effects such as creating a hypoxic effect and eutrophication (this slows down the growth of the coral skeleton and can spread toxics throughout the coral). - The coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba form in parallel lines to the shore only a few metres away from the land because if they are too far away from the shore the water will become deeper. This will mean that less light energy will be able to reach the coral and it will die as stated above. - The statement that the sun is the source of all life on the reefs is correct to some extent; it is a key factor towards the growth of the coral. ...read more.


For instance, even if a country (such as Jordan) is working very hard to keep the reefs healthy, the transport of shipments intended for a different country (such as Saudi Arabia) may still cause pollution in Jordan and therefore the corals will continue to be damaged whatever Jordan attempts. Therefore an agreement must be made between the countries surrounding the Gulf of Aqaba, and if a country is unwilling to participate then it has the potential of negatively affecting neighbouring countries. - It is in the interests of all the countries to reduce pollution and conserve the ecosystems on the gulf because they benefit each country. They are an important part of economy as they provide money through tourism, and they are also one of the most useful forms of underwater environment as they provide approximately 25% of all marine life. This means that the economy benefits by coral reefs because of the profit made through fishing and tourism means that the country will not only benefit through coral-related tourism activities but also the general benefits received from tourism such as city tours and supermarket profits. By Daniel Goode 17/04/10 ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Goode 9AB 17/04/10 ...read more.

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