What are Coral Reefs? They are made up of individual corals called polyps. Polyps have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial)relationship with algae: The algae produces and shares the food with thepolyp, And the polyp provides sunlight and protection.
What are Coral Reefs?(cont.) Even though they cover less than 0.01% of theEarth’s surface, 25% of marine animals depend onthem. They are beneficial to both humans and marineanimals: They provide treatments for HIV/AIDS and cancer,and are potential cures for humans. They are nurseries and feeding ground for marineanimals.
Some Coral Reefs These are some of the largest coral reefs in theworld: Great Barrier Reef near Australia Red Sea Coral Reef near Egypt New Caledonia Barrier Reef near Caledonia Mesoamerican Barrier Reef near Mexico Florida Reef Andros Coral Reef near Andros Zhongsha Islands in the South China Sea
Problem Coral reefs are very easily stressed by: Changes in the temperature Pollution And too much shade. These are just some of the factors that cause coralreefs to “bleach”.
Problem (cont.) When corals “bleach”, they lose their algae, whichmeans that: There is no more food for the polyp, so The polyp loses colour and dies. Bleaching is usually caused by corals that are beingstressed. They can be stressed by natural disasterssuch as tsunamis and earthquakes. Coral reefs are stressed by changes in temperature,meaning that global warming ties in with coral reefdestruction. The hotter the planet gets, the warmer thewater gets and more coral reefs will die.
Problem (cont.) Natural disasters aren’t the only harmful events thatcause stress among coral, humans are also a bigproblem. We are a cause of many problems, for example: Dynamite fishing Dredging Industrial pollution And many others.
Our Effect on CoralReefs This image shows theplaces that areaffected by humaninteractions, forexample: coral harvesting overexploitation and dynamite fishing. Based on this, we cansee that Philippines isvery heavily affectedby these issues.
Ways We Should Help Conserve water, causing less runoff and waste water. Use public transportation to help stop global warmingand coral reef destruction. Dispose of your trash properly, because wastecontributes to coral reef destruction. Plant a tree, because they reduce runoff to the oceanand they help stop global warming. Raise awareness and petition for governments to takebetter care of one of Nature’s most diverse ecosystems.
Efforts to Preserve Coral There are efforts being made to stop coral reefdestruction. One example is to cryopreserve the coral, whichinvolves freezing polyps to the point where they can stayalive for hundreds of years. This could allow individualpolyps to recreate a whole colony in the future.
Another effort being made is to grow threatened speciesunder very strict lab conditions and when they are ready,they will be returned to the ocean. A recent example of this type of preservationwas in2007, when the Smithsonian National Zoo grew 12,000microscopic elkhorn coral and returned them to theocean in 2012.Efforts to Preserve Coral(cont.)
Conclusion Coral reef destruction is a very pressing issue and itties in with many environmental problems, likeglobal warming and pollution. Even though coral reefs are very easily stressed,there ARE ways that we can help stop this issue,and I would encourage you to.
Selected Source List Websites: Briney, Amanda. "The Worlds 10 Largest Coral Reefs." About.com Geography.About.com Geography, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.<http://geography.about.com/od/lists/a/The-Worlds-10-Largest-Coral-Reefs.htm>. "The Nature Conservancy. Protecting Nature. Preserving Life.™." Ways to Help CoralReefs. Nature.org, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.<http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/coralreefs/ways-to-help-coral-reefs/index.htm>. Images: Bleachedcoral. Digital image. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.<http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/images/bleachedcoral.jpg>. Coral-Reef. Digital image. Our Breathing Planet. Our Breathing Planet, n.d. Web. 24 Apr.2013. <http://www.ourbreathingplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Coral-Reef.jpg>. Coral_reef_4. Digital image. The Resilient Earth. The Resilient Earth, n.d. Web. 24 Apr.2013. <http://theresilientearth.com/files/images/coral_reef_4.jpg>. Coral-reef-canary-project. Digital image. Cetacean Inspiration. Cetacean Inspiration, n.d.Web. 23 Apr. 2013. <http://cetaceaninspiration.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/coral-reef-canary-project.jpg>.
Selected Source List (cont.) Images: Corals_bleached. Digital image. MarineBio. MarineBio, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.<http://marinebio.org/i/corals_bleached.jpg>. Dead-coral_1538357i. Digital image. The Telegraph. The Telegraph, n.d. Web. 23 Apr.2013. <http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01538/dead-coral_1538357i.jpg>. Dynamite_reef_1. Digital image. OceanWorld. OceanWorld, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.<http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/students/coral/images/dynamite_reef_1.jpg>. Elkhorn_keysnms_sm. Digital image. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.<http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/images/invertebrates/elkhorn_keysnms_sm.jpg>. Fig1_reef_fullsize. Digital image. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.<http://www.noaa.gov/features/climate/images/fig1_reef_fullsize.jpg>. Spermbank. Digital image. Smithsonians National Zoological Park. SmithsoniansNational Zoological Park, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.<http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/reproductivescience/images/spermbank.jpg>. Wallpaper-462484. Digital image. Sites@Duke. Sites@Duke, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.<http://sites.duke.edu/environ181s_01_s2011_alg22/files/2011/04/wallpaper-462484.jpg>.
Thank you for watching!And remember, only YOU can stop coral reef destruction!