What is a coral reef? Discuss the relationship corals and algae have, services reefs provide, and problems affecting coral reefs. Where are coral reefs in Florida found? Why should we care about coral reefs?
- -Formation produced by massive colonies containing billions of tiny coral animals, called polyps that secrete a stony substance (calcium carbonate) around themselves for protection.
- -Algae provide the polyps with food and oxygen through photosynthesis and help produce calcium carbonate which forms coral’s skeleton. Algae gives reefs their stunning coloration and polyps provide algae with a well-protected home and some nutrients.-They act as natural barriers that help to protect 15% of world’s coastlines from erosion caused by battering waves and storms. They provide habitats for one-quarter of all marine organisms.
- -Climate change, increasing acidity of ocean water as it absorbs some carbon dioxide.
- -Clear, warm coastal waters of the tropics and subtropics.
- -The decline and degradation of these colorful oceanic sentinels should serve as a warning about threats to the health of ocean ecosystems, which provide us with crucial ecological and economic services