Coral Reefs Ecosystem
Coral reef ecosystem is a community which has interaction between living and non living organisms around coral reefs. Coral reefs ecosystem is one of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems, compared only by the tropical rain forest. This ecosystem is made of the combination of soft and hard corals, crustaceans, mollusks, sea turtles, fish, snakes, and many more range of species. The primary factors that can affect the organisms in this ecosystem are space, sunlight and food. Coral reefs ecosystem is also known as “rain forest of the sea”. This ecosystem has close symbiotic relation to Algae. Coral reefs ecosystem also appears on clear, warm and shallow seas, because the formation of the corals is highly dependent on sun light.
Coral reefs ecosystem has variety of corals, algae and sea sponges, which become the main support for the whole ecosystem. Simply, coral reefs provide food and shelter for many species of animals, so that is why this ecosystem has the most biologically diverse species. Small fishes can easily be found around this ecosystem, which also attract big fishes to hunt for food around this ecosystem. Corals itself are composed of thin layers of calcium carbonate that were secreted by hundreds of soft bodied animals called coral polyps. Each polyp has a close symbiotic with Zooxanthellae which gives colors to the corals. Zooxanthellae takes in carbon dioxide and secretes oxygen through photosynthesis process. The oxygen and nutrients created will be consumed by the polyps and form different kind of corals. Charles Darwin has written a theory during his Beagle expedition. He stated that coral reefs give protection to the organisms from wave and storms, and that is also the reason why many small fish and small organisms live around this ecosystem. Algae and planktons that live around the reefs provide foods for the reefs itself and for smaller fish.
Coral reefs ecosystem estimated to have cover 284.300km2 all around the world. This ecosystem mostly found in Indo-Pacific area and Atlantic and Caribbean area. The best temperature for this ecosystem to develop is 26-27oC, however in some part of the world this ecosystem can also be found in lower water temperatures. Coral reefs ecosystem will not grow below 50m below the sea surface. The most well-known coral reefs ecosystem is probably the Great Barrier reef, with over 2.900 individual reefs. Indonesia has its own well known reefs which began to have been known worldwide in the past 10 years located in Raja Ampat, Papua. The location of coral reefs all around the world is displayed on the map with red marks:
written by: Wafina Mario
written by: Wafina Mario