Don't be a reef thief

8th period

What Are Coral Reefs ?

The mention of coral reefs generally brings to mind warm climates, colorful fishes and clear waters. However, the reef itself is actually a component of a larger ecosystem. The coral community is really a system that includes a collection of biological communities, representing one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. For this reason, coral reefs often are referred to as the "rainforests of the oceans."

what coral need to live

Corals need to grow in shallow water where sunlight can reach them. Corals depend on the zooxanthellae (algae) that grow inside of them for oxygen and other things, and since these algae needs sunlight to survive, corals also need sunlight to survive.Corals need clear water that lets sunlight through; they don’t thrive well when the water is opaque. Sediment and plankton can cloud water, which decreases the amount of sunlight that reaches the zooxanthellae. Reef-building corals require warm water conditions to survive. Corals are sensitive to pollution and sediments. Sediment can create cloudy water and be deposited on corals, blocking out the sun and harming the polyps. Wastewater discharged into the ocean near the reef can contain too many nutrients that cause seaweeds to overgrow the reef.

coral bleaching

Warmer water temperatures can result incoral bleaching. When water is too warm,corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching.

whats killing off are coral reefs

Ten percent of the world's reefs have been completely destroyed. In the Philippines, where coral reef destruction is the worst, over 70% have been destroyed and only 5% can be said to be in good condition. What has happened to destroy so many reefs? Human population has become very large, and earth is warming.