Tropical Coral Reefs
By: Angelina Melendez-Negron
What Is A Coral Reef ECOSYSTEM?
What Are Some Interesting Facts About A Coral Reef?
- Coral reef biomes must exist in shallow water because they must remain between 77 to 84° F. Shallow water is easier to keep warm by the Sun than deeper water.
- Coral reefs take a very long time to grow. They grow at a rate up to 2 cm per year.
- Coral reefs are important to the development of new medicines. According to NOAA, "Coral reef plants and animals are important sources of new medicines being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases."
- You can find sunken ships in the Florida keys with coral reefs growing on them! There are places where you can dive to see and explore them.
Image Of The Great Florida Reef
The Great Florida reef stretches for over 4 miles!
What Are Facts About A Tropical Coral Reef?
Where Can You Find Tropical Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs flourish in shallow areas (less than 120ft, or 37m) in tropical latitudes, or where warm ocean currents flow into more temperate areas. In Florida, tropical coral reefs can be found near the keys around each island. There is a famous coral reef in Florida called "Great Florida Reef" located in the Florida keys.
What Are Some Abiotic & Biotic Factors In A Tropical Coral Reef?
Abiotic = Non-Living components
Biotic = Living organisms
- Carbon Dioxide
- Temperature (Average - 75.4 F)
- Salinity (Salt dissolved in water)
- Bacteria (Ex: Cyanobacteria)
Coral Reef Food Web
What Is An Apex Predator In A Tropical Coral Reef?
About A Tropical Coral Reef Shark
Human Impact on This Species
Many shark populations have plummeted in the past three decades as a result of excessive harvesting for their fins, as an incidental catch of fisheries targeting other species. Tropical reef shark numbers have dropped substantially around populated islands, generally by more than 90 percent compared to those at the most untouched reefs.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Tropical coral reef sharks are known as the "Silent Sea Predator"
- The gill slits on a tropical coral reef shark is longer than most other varieties of sharks!
- A specific shark located in the caribbean (a tropical area) known as the grey shark have excellent sense of smell. They can smell tuna fish in 10 billionth part of the water!
Domain - EukaryoteKingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Chondrichthyes
Order - Carcharhiniformes
Family - Carcharhinidae
Genus - Carcharhinus
Species - C. perezii
What Is The Importance Of Water To A Tropical Coral Reef?
The Human Impact To Tropical Coral Reefs
Humans go fishing it controls the fish population. Another example of a way humans impact coral reef in a positive way is that some people join groups dedicated to saving coral reefs. The groups go around the world educating people about the harm being done to the coral reefs. The also convince people not to buy fish that have been caught by harming the coral reefs.
Coral Reefs attract tourist every year, bringing much needed currency to the tropical region. The increase in ecotourism is usually accompanied by an increase in reef damage.
Divers and snorkelers may harm the corals by touching the polyps, also while the boats transporting ecotourists to the reef, it may damage the reef by dragging there anchors.
Although ecotourism is responsible for the damage, if it is carefully monitored and managed, ecotourism may actually help preserve these valuable habitats.