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Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information
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Coral Reef Ecosystem - Background Information

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View this presentation for background information on coral reef ecosystems.

View this presentation for background information on coral reef ecosystems.

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  • Maybe add a slide about how they feed
  • New technology for artificial reefs
  • Transcript

    • 1. An Introduction to Coral Reefs
    • 2. What is coral?
      • It’s a living organism!
      • It is an invertebrate
      • 2 different types:
        • Reef Building: Hermatypic
        • Solitary: Ahermatypic
      • Coral is cousins to jellyfish and anemones (Cnidarians)
      • Today we will talk mainly about reef building coral
      Sun Coral Polyps
    • 3. Where Can You Find Coral Reefs?
      • Coral is found all over the world:
        • Tropical
        • Temperate
        • Polar
      • Only tropical corals build reefs
      Coral reefs around the world
    • 4. Coral Builds Reefs?
      • The animal portion of the reef is called a polyp
      • The polyp absorbs calcium carbonate out of the water
      • The calcium carbonate is used to build the reef
    • 5. Reefs Corals Build
      • Corals can build three types of reefs:
        • Fringing: grows close to shore
        • Barrier: also grows close to shore but has a lagoon separating it from the shore
        • Atoll: a ring of coral that surrounds a lagoon, often grows on a submerged mountain or volcano
      http://www.nos.noaa.gov/education/kits/ corals/media/coral04a_240.jpg
    • 6. Coral are Cnidarians
      • Soft bodied
      • Carnivorous
      • Stinging tentacles arranged in a circle around their mouth
      • Body symmetry
      • Specialized tissues
    • 7. Cnidarians
      • Usually two life stages:
        • Polyp
        • Medusa
      • Gastrovascular cavity
        • Food is broken down here but digested intracellularly
    • 8. Cnidarians
      • Respiration and waste removal takes place through body walls
      • Nerve net
      • Some have a hydrostatic skeleton
      • Some move through jet propulsion
    • 9. Anatomy of Coral
      • The coral polyps build a calcium carbonate cup called a corallite to live in
      • Coral has stinging cells called nematocysts
    • 10. Stinging Cells
      • Nematocysts help coral catch food
      • They also help protect the coral
      • When the cell is stimulated, it releases a sharp barb
      • The barb will fire and catch the food and bring it back towards the mouth
    • 11. Coral and Zooxanthella
      • Symbiotic relationship
      • Zooxanthella is an algae that lives in the skin of coral
      • Coral provides protection
      • Zooxanthella provides food and color!
    • 12. Coral is Picky
      • Very specific habitats:
        • Temperature: 73-75  F
        • Depth: Less than 80 ft to 230 feet
        • Salinity: Normal salt levels (35ppt)
        • Light: Zooxanthellae need light to survive
        • Sedimentation: Being covered with silt interferes with photosynthesis
        • Desiccation: being exposed to air. The corals will die if exposed too long
      • Coral likes areas with lots of waves:
        • They are strong enough to withstand the pressure
        • Freshwater means more food
        • Waves remove silt
        • New water brings more oxygen
    • 13. Asexual Reproduction
      • To reproduce coral can reproduce asexually or sexually
      • Asexual reproduction in corals is called budding
      • A baby polyp will begin growing off the adult
      • When it is ready it will detach and live on its own
      • This can not start new colonies, only help the old colony grow bigger
      This is a hydra (cousin to coral) with two buds. One bud (on the right) is older than the other.
    • 14. Coral Reproduction
      • Sexual reproduction is called spawning
      • External fertilization
      • It can start new colonies
      • Sperm and eggs are released into the water column
      • The fertilized egg is then called a planula
      • The planula swims until it finds a good place to live
    • 15. A New Home
      • Corals now have a choice of where to live
      • Corals are very sensitive and are rapidly dying
      • People are trying to help by creating artificial reefs
    • 16. Arguments for Artificial Reefs
      • It can help build or rebuild a reef
      • It will increase fish populations by making new habitats
    • 17. Arguments Against Artificial Reefs
      • Moveable
      • Chemical leaking and leaching into the ocean
      • It does not increase fish populations but rather moves them to one location away from their natural habitat which makes them easier to catch

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