Coral Reef Ecosystems Essay examples

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Coral Reef
Tiffany Elliott
Ecosystems and How They Work
July 14, 2015

Where is a Coral

Coral reefs are located in tropical oceans near the equator. • The largest coral reef is the Great
Barrier Reef in Australia.
• The second largest coral reef can be found off the coast of Belize, in
Central America.
• Other reefs are found in Hawaii, the
Red Sea, and other areas in tropical oceans. Tropical Oceans are Shown in
(Where Are Coral Reefs Located? n.d.)

structure of the
Coral Reef

A coral reef is composed of calcium carbonate, or limestone.
This is absorbed from the water by colonies of coral polyps and coralline algae.
Most the underlying foundation of the reef is dead, made up of layer upon layer of coral skeletons.
The living reef is built over the top of this, by tiny coral polyps adding new limestone to the massive base structure.
The polyps make skeletons (or corallites) of calcium carbonate around themselves.
The beautiful colour of corals comes from the colourful tentacles of the coral polyps and the zooxanthellae algae that live in the tissues of many species.

Abiotic factors of the Coral

Abiotic factors are the components of the ecosystem which are not living •

sunlight temperature Salt
Density light penetration

Abiotic features makes the environment for the Biotic features to live in

Biotic factors of the Coral

Biotic factors are the components of the ecosystem which are living
• The Animals:

There are many species of fish, turtles, corals, mollusk, sea snakes, sponges, polyps.

• The Plants:

Algae, Coral, anemone, sea grasses, sea Lillie.

• Parasites:

Many parasites feed off of corals and fish living in this ecosystem.

Living things are important to a reef ecosystem

Coral reefs are critical for a few reasons. Specifically, they give affirmation and safe house to an