-Most common type -This reef is attached, lying adjacent to the shore of a continent or island. -There is little to no lagoon (a body of water cut off from a larger body by a reef of sand or coral) between it and the shore
The Barrier Reef - serve as a barrier between the ocean and the land. They slow down the harsh waves, protecting the coast. -usually a wide, deep lagoon separating the reefs from the land mass. - only grows where there has been a change of sea level on the adjacent coast PICTURE: The Great Barrier Reef. It is located off the northeast coast of Australia . It measures up to 150 km long .
Coral reefs have a symbiotic relationship with a type of microscopic algae, which require sunlight. Therefore, coral reefs must exist where sunlight penetrates so that they can thrive and grow. CORAL REEFS NEED: sunlight
Clear water allows for sunlight to reach the algae CORAL REEFS NEED: clear water
73-77°F (23-25°C) CORAL REEFS NEED: warm water
waves bring in food, nutrients and oxygen to the reef CORAL REEFS NEED: wave action
CORAL REEFS NEED: calcium used to build their limestone skeletons available in shallow waters
Simple animals that lack a brain and complex sensing organs
brittle sea stars
Crown of Thorns Starfish Sea Urchin
Flatworms Flatworms are the simplest of worm groups. There are about 20,000 species in this group. They are bilateral, have an eyespot, have a simple nervous system, and have no internal body cavity. They can be free living or parasitic.
Water Pollution-Petroleum products and chemicals are lethal to Coral Reefs. Raw sewage is dumped into the sea, bringing an overload of nutrients; algae take over the reefs, blotting out the sunlight corals need to live.
Fishing with explosives or cyanide-In depleted fisheries, people resort to desperate tactics to catch the fish that remain—one of those is dynamite. The explosions send dead fish to the surface and destroy living reefs.
Sedimentation, Construction along coasts, mining, farming, and logging of Rainforests cause soil run off which smothers coral reefs blocking sunlight that it needs to survive. Dangerous
Human-caused, or anthropogenic activities are major threats to coral reefs. Pollution, overfishing, destructive fishing practices using dynamite or cyanide, collecting live corals for the aquarium market and mining coral for building materials are some of the many ways that people damage reefs all around the world every day.
One of the most significant threats to reefs is pollution. Land-based runoff and pollutant discharges can result from dredging, coastal development, agricultural and deforestation activities, and sewage treatment plant operations. This runoff may contain sediments, nutrients, chemicals, insecticides, oil, and debris.