Case Study: The Great Barrier Reef

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The Great Barrier Reef

Introduction:

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef. (1) It consists of a nexus of coral reefs, shoals and islets in near the Northeastern coast of Australia. It extends in a northwest-southeast direction for around 1,250 miles (2,000 km), at an offshore distance ranging from 10 to 100 miles (16 to 160 km) and has an area of 135,000 square miles (350,000 square km) allowing it to be the largest coral reef in the world. It is sometimes referred to as the largest structure built by living creatures. (2) Something that I would call the Burj Khalifa of the animals.

Key Abiotic Components of the Great Barrier Reef:

An abiotic factor is something non living that affects the biotic factors of an
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(4) The East Australian Current keeps the temperature in the region of the great barrier reef in this range as seen in the **picture**. This allows the coral in the Great Barrier Reef to thrive like none other. Corals are very sensitive to temperature and if the temperature increase then the zooxanthellae leaves their tissues making the coral unable to produce food on it's own, thus killing it. (5) If the temperature drops then a symbiotic algae present in the coral that helps it to get food lowers the amount of carbon transfer from the algae to the coral thus killing the coral. …show more content…
This way it can keep a look out and be safe from predators.(11)

Glass Shrimp and Chocolate Chip Sea Star: The glass shrimp will attach itself to the body of the chocolate chip sea star and since the glass shrimp as the name suggests is almost transparent it will take on the colour of the chocolate chip sea star and camouflage itself from predators.(12)

Parasitism:
Trematode and Snail:
The Trematode is a parasitic worm that can be found in many organism in the Great Barrier Reef, but when it attaches itself to a snail, the snail instead of reproducing snails reproduces parasites instead.(13)

Monogenea and Southern Fiddler Ray: Monogenea are parasitic flatworms that are virtually invisible to the human eye, it feeds off the skin of its host and is undetected by other predators.(14)

Human impacts on the Great Barrier Reef:

Overfishing:
Since fishing is now done by using nets attached to boats more fish are caught, leading to overfishing which leads to increasing fish prices and gaps in food chains which can affect whole ecosystems. For example if the prey is taken away then the Predator will starve to

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