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Biodiversity I


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Biodiversity I

  1. 1. How important are coral reefs to our oceans? Coral reefs are extremely important to the health of the oceans. They are hotspots for biodiversity, and while they cover less than 1 percent of the oceans, it is estimated that at least a quarter of all marine life spends at least part of their life on a coral reef. If we lose reefs, then we are losing not just the organisms that inhabit reefs but also those that indirectly depend on reefs for survival.
  2. 2. Why is protecting the Coral Triangle so important for biodiversity? This is the apex of marine biodiversity, and it supplies much of the rest of the Indian and Pacific Oceans with genetic biodiversity, delivered by the ocean’s genetic highway currents. If we lose the Coral Triangle, we lose the most marine biodiversity the world has to offer.
  3. 3. What is a coral reef? A coral reef is a community of living organisms. It is made up of plants, fish, and many other creatures. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. They are home to about 25% of all marine life! There are sponges, sea slugs, oysters, clams, crabs, shrimp, sea worms, starfish and sea urchins, jellyfish and sea anemones; various types of fungi, sea turtles, and many species of fish. Think of them as the “rainforests of the oceans.
  4. 4. Coral reefs are made of tiny animals called “polyps” that stay fixed in one place and are the main structure of a reef. Polyps have a hard outer skeleton made of calcium (similar to a snail’s shell). The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef. It is made up of over 2 900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2 600 kilometers off the northeast coast of Australia.
  5. 5. Why are they important? Coral reefs do a number of amazing things! Reefs Protect shorelines from big waves by absorbing wave energy Provide a safe place for fish to spawn (release eggs into the water) Provide habitats for a large variety of organisms Provide food (fish and shellfish) for many people living along coastlines Are a source of medication—some anti-cancer drugs and painkillers come from reefs Help in the carbon cycle Are a good sign of ocean water quality: Healthy reefs = Healthy water.
  6. 6. Locations
  7. 7. Coral reefs at risk There are a number of things damaging precious coral reefs. 1. Fertilizer used on farms or home gardens washes into the oceans. The fertilizer creates conditions that make algae increase. 2.Increased greenhouse gas emissions are making the water warmer. Coral can’t live in water that is too much warmer or colder than 26–27 degrees Celsius. 3. Dangerous fishing methods, like cyanide or blast fishing, harm and kill coral.
  8. 8. BIODIVERSITY Coral reefs form some of the world's most productive ecosystems, providing complex and variedmarine habitats that support a wide range of other organisms
  9. 9. THE END