Destruction of Coral Reefs

Destruction of Coral Reefs

Coral Reef Destruction Coral reefs are the marine versions of tropical forests. They are the world's most biologically diverse marine ecosystems. Of all the vital coastal ecosystems under threat, it is coral reefs which are being decimated faster than any other marine resource. It is possible that they are being extinguished more rapidly than rainforests. Although there are estimated to be 600,000 sq km of coral reefs in the world,with 30 percent concentrated in Southeast Asian seas, their condition is thought to be deteriorating nearly everywhere, but more particularly around the shores of developing countries. Wherever coral reef surveys were carried out in ...

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of seagrasses, more than 300 species of coral, and 2,000 varieties of fish. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia has 400 species of coral providing habitat for over 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 different kinds of mollusks. Nearly one-third of all fish species live on coral reefs, while others are dependent on reefs and seagrass beds for various stages in their life cycles.Coral reefs are among the oldest living communities of plants and animals on earth, having evolved about 450 million years ago. That is why their destruction is all the more tragic. Most modern coral reefs are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, many of them forming thin layers over older, much thicker reef structures dating several million years.Most of the reef colony is actually dead, a skeleton framework. Only the upper layer is covered by a thin changeable living skin of coral. Coral polyps ĘC the animals that build reefs ĘCare the master builders of the sea, constructing their homes upon the remains ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/1/2011 09:05:22 PM
Submitted By: meteorgarden
Category: Environment
Type: Free Paper
Words: 475
Pages: 2

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