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1E1_2011 Group 8 - Coral Reef

Page history last edited by 1E1_Group8_2011 9 years, 2 months ago

Team members

 

Names / Roles:

  • TUHFAH MARYAM ( 22 )          [Leader]
  • HO CHING WEE ( 11 )            [Wiki Writer]
  • JEREMY TANG GUN HAO ( 26 )  [Researcher]
  • KWEK WEN HAO ( 30 )           [Researcher]

 

Overview

In this section, we are going to provide some brief descriptions of the Coral Reef......

  • Location of the Coral Reef The Coral Reef is located in the tropial ocean near the equator.

        

  • Description of the Coral Reef ~ A coral is a *polyp; a marine lifeform. Corals live in colonies. They have hard calcium skeletons. As coral colonies grow, expand and die, other colonies grow on top of them until large polyp of hard calcium develops. This massive structure not only the polyps, but also other type of aquatic life. Layers of corals are reffered to as coral reef.

          

  • Biodiversity of Coral Reef ~ Coral Reef contain almost 100000 species. About a third of the world's marine fish (About  4000-5000 species) are estimated to live only in the coral reefs. They provide habitat for the mollusks, sponges, sea urchines, echinoderms, eels and worms beyond counting.

           


Physical Factors

  • Light 

Light is critical to the development of coral reefs because of their symbiotic association with algae, aquatic plants that require sunlight to survive. Without light, the ecosystem of coral reefs may bleach and die.

 

 

 

Here are some images of a completely bleached coral.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are some corals that are partially bleached...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Images extracted from:

 

 

 

 

 

Optimal temperatures for coral growthn are between 73 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which can only be found in tropical waters.  Reef development requires a minimum average temperature of 20 degrees celsius. Maximum temperatures for corals range from 30 to 35 degrees celsius, depending on locations and species. A slight change in temperature can induce an extremely large amount of shock and stress of the living organisms, mainly coral, in coral reefs, and kill the corals.

  • Water   

While coral reefs are sensetive to enviromental changes, they appear to be able to recover effectively from physical disturbance or temporary pollution events provided that water quality is generally high. Since coral reefs depend on  photosynthesis for survival, relatively clear water is needed for optimal coral reef development. Waters in and around coral reefs are characteristically very low in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Low nutrients conditions are needed to prevent the excessive growth and accummulation of phytoplankton and seaweeds. Phytoplankton blooms resulting from excessive nutrients input decrease the light available for coral growth. Seaweed populations stimulated by excessive nutrient levels tend to overgrow corals and other organisms on reefs. Nutrients are delievered by ground and surface waterloadings , atmospheric deposition, migrations of organisms, nitrogen fixation, upwelling, and horizontal advection. 

 

  • Salinity 

Low salinities ( less than 25-30%) and high salinities (50-70%) limits reef development.

 

 

  • Air  



News regarding climate change has largely focused on the increasing carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere and the effects of that increase on the land. Yet as the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the impact on the ocean enviroment is greater than it is on land. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, where it reacts with other chemicals present in the water, thus making the water more acidic. This process is called ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is known to harm marine life in many ways. For example, it prevents organisms, such as shellfish, crabs and coral from producing shells and skeletons, which may ultimately destroy coral reef ecosystems, the effects of which undoubtedly will ripple down the food chain. Ocean acidification needs to receive as much, if not more,  attention from lawmakers, and action must be taken now to prevent further acidification before its too late to reverse its effects.

 

  • pH of the environment

For coral reefs, pH is especially important because of how corals grow. Corals grow by depositing calcium carbonate as part of their skeletons, and calcium carbonate as part of their skeletons, and calcium does not like to for (precipitate) at lower pH. A pH above 8 makes it much easier for corals to lay down their calcium carobonate skeletons, thus making it possible for them to grow.

 

  • mineral salts

Run offs from from mining and farming where the minerals get into rivers that flow into the ocean. Farming have specific negative effects with this type of pollution because of the nutrient run off from the fertilisers used. This fertilisers add nitrogen and phosphorus into the oceanic ecosystem. These nutrients cause massive algae growth that leads to depletion in oxygen available for other creatures and decreasing the biodiversity in those affected areas. It also leads to algae blooms that take over sections of coral, blocking the sunlight and hurting its ability to survive. The coral reefs also have a hard time surviving through human pollution by petroleum leaks and other chemicals that get dumped into the oceans because of its toxicity the enviroment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Classification of Living Organisms

Classification of organisms in the Coral Reef.

  1. ProducersGolden Algae and Turtle Grass
  2. Primary ConsumersGreen Sea Turtle, Sea Coral, Shirmp and Reef Lobster
  3. Secondary ConsumersClown Fish and Giant Clam
  4. Tertiary Consumers ~ Nurse Shark
  5. DecomposersFlat Worm and Fan Worm

 

 

 

 


Food Web 

 


Interrelationship in Ecosystem

Interrelatonship in the Coral Reef...... (organisms)

  1. Predator-prey relationship ~ Sea Coral, Shrimp and Reef Lobster
  2. *Parasitism ~ Clown Fish and Reef Lobster
  3.  +Mutualism ~ Nurse Shark, Giant Clam and Green Sea Turtle

 

     *Parasitism~a relation between organisms in which one lives as a parasite on another.

    +Mutualism~a reationship between two species of organisms in which both benefit from the association. 

 


Useful Links

Plagarism is a strongly discouraged.

 

Include the links of all websites you obtained information from to complete your ecology wiki. 

For example:

Wild World @ nationalgeographic.com ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/terrestrial.html ) 


 

 

 

 



Comments (1)

Sherlyn Chew said

at 3:48 pm on Mar 17, 2011

Hi guys, I believe the relationship between the clown fish and the sea anemone is NOT parasitic and it should be a mutualistic relationship. U need to give more information to describe the relationship between the organisms u listed above.

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