The Ins and Outs of Coral Reefs

When exploring the clear, shallow waters of the oceans across the world, there are numerous habitats associated with this intricate ecosystem. Coral reefs are just some of the intriguing living things that can be found in the ocean. They are full of life, as well as many showcase an array of interesting details.


The Structure of a Coral Reef


When it comes to the construction of a coral reef, you will find that there are many different coral polyps all about the structure. This feature consists of tiny colonies of animals. When these critters die, their remains aid in the development of a hard mass that has a stony feel to it. Adding to this structure is different formations of limestone.


Where Can You Find Coral Reefs?


When looking at a map, you will find coral reef groupings positioned closer to the Equator. This is because coral reels thrive when the temperature of their water is warm, meaning you won’t find any situated close to Antarctica. Coral reefs have been known to cover an extensive amount of area about the oceans of the world, somewhere close to 300,000 square kilometers.


As for where coral reefs are most prominent about the world, you will notice that a great concentration of the reef can be found within the waters about the Indo-Pacific. This includes the waters of the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, as well as the waters in the Southeast Asian territory. In the Atlantic and the Caribbean waters, coral reefs can be found, as well as in the Australian area, where one of the highest percentages of coral reefs can be found. Additional countries and continents offering access to coral reefs include Pakistan, Bangladesh, South America, and Africa.


In Danger”¦


Like many of the things in the world, there are dangers that threaten survival or existence. When it comes to coral reefs, many of these fine natural specimens are dying. There are numerous threats affecting how coral reefs are reacting to their surroundings; some of which can be easily corrected. Making changes today in the way that environment is treated will ensure the future of such a helpful system to the ecosystem of the shallow waters of the many oceans throughout the world.


One of the major threats concerning coral reefs is water pollution. The main culprits of this type of threat often come from human sewage, as well as the runoff from harmful agricultural substances. When dredging off of the coast occurs, this too causes an imbalance within the environment of the coral reefs. Humans also directly affect the future of the coral reef. Collecting coral is a popular event, especially when vacationing tourists go snorkeling in exotic waters. Mostly, the practice of collecting the coral is quite destructive, damaging remaining ecological specimens.


Coral is also affected by construction and mining projects that occur in or close to the water. The heavy machinery produces sedimentation, which develops loads of sand and silt, which creates a higher level of mud in the water. Coral reefs react negatively to these changes in the water and become killed off. This is due in part because coral needs light to thrive.