The Coral Reef Ecosystem and the Salt Water Environment Around It
The coral reef ecosystem surrounds a living coral reef. The many different forms of life found in the coral reef are all part of the coral reef ecosystem. The living things in a coral reef ecosystem have to adapt to living in salt water. The coral reef ecosystem is made up of the entire reef from the very bottom of the reef where coral lives to the coral sand islands that were created around the coral reef.
The coral reef ecosystem is a lot like other marine ecosystems that are located in the ocean. The coral reef ecosystem and the other marine ecosystems in the ocean have to share the same space in some ways so they have to coexist and develop a symbiotic relationship so they can all survive. Since coral reef ecosystems are in such warm ocean water, they have their own unique challenges and that the plants and animals in the ecosystems have to face.
Experts who have studied coral reef ecosystems have found that there is usually a predator at the top of the food chain. The coral reef ecosystem food chain has the biggest and fiercest predator at the top and continues down to the tiniest plants and corals in the reef. In most coral reef ecosystems whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and stingrays are the animals at the top of the food chain.
The tides in the ocean, the ocean currents and the sandbars are all essential to the survival of the coral reef ecosystem. If the fish, turtles, stingrays and jelly fish did not move through the coral reef ecosystem it would get very out of balance. The bottom part of the food chain found in the coral reef ecosystems are the tiny fish and the crustaceans. The manner in which these small animals live amid the plants and the living coral in the coral reef ecosystem is what make them so unique. The smallest creatures are necessary for the survival of the biggest creatures in the ocean.
You may not see with the naked eye how our actions have changed the coral reef ecosystem but it has been affected in several different ways including changing the balance of life. The most changes in the coral reef ecosystem have probably occurred in the last century. Things humans do regularly like fishing, using fertilizers in the fields and other activities can easily affect the very delicate balance of the coral reef ecosystem more than you may think. Other things that affect the coral reef ecosystem include toxic waste that washes up on the reef, plastics that get dumped in the ocean and oil or fuel spills in the ocean that harm marine life.
It is important to protect our coral reef ecosystem because of the wide variety of plant and animal life that exists there. The coral reef ecosystem is always going to be affected by events all around the world. A healthy coral reef ecosystem is needed for the plants and animals there to survive.
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