Coral Reef Ecology Activity

Good Essays
Maggie McMahon
APES Period 1
October 24, 2014
Coral Reef Ecology Activity (#3)
Tourists scenario: Tourists bring business to many of the countries that are surrounded by coral reefs, but the damage they do is putting the future of both tourism and the coral reef in jeopardy. Most people do not realize how fragile the reef is and carelessly destroy it without thinking, as ecologists have discovered patches of dead coral in the shape of diver's footprints. Boat anchors can break off a quarter century of growth in an instant, and if allowed to drag, can leave a trench of dead coral in their wakes. The coral reef and our food web will demolished without any hope of reconstruction if tourists are allowed to continue to destroy it. Tourism's potential
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When the corals' health are in jeopardy, the health and overall well being of all the organisms that rely on them are at risk as well. Many organisms, along with their babies and eggs, will be exposed to predators if they do not have healthy coral reefs to depend on for shelter. Predators will have easier access to their prey if they are ever without a home, and this will result in a decline in population of the consumers lower in the trophic levels (little fish are wiped out, and predators overpopulate). If there were ever a decline in the prey population, all of the organisms higher up in the food chain would be killed off as well, since there wouldn't be enough food to keep the higher trophic levels healthy and …show more content…
Two reasons why coral reefs are being threatened worldwide are because of tourists, who cause sewage to pollute the ocean and give nutrients to algae, step on corals, and destroy coral reefs with their boat anchors; overfishing causes the mass killing of sea urchins, which feed on algae, thus algae takes over the coral reefs and stunts their growth. B. The process of coral bleaching is when ocean temperatures become too warm, and the algae discharged from the coral causes the coral to begin a stress condition which turns them white; they are no longer the vibrant colors they used to be. When coral reefs lose their good health, organisms cannot live in/around them anymore, and the babies and eggs are exposed to predators, throwing off the aquatic ecosystem. C. 2 ways in which coral reefs can be protected from future destruction are by reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers which enter the ocean through runoff, and by regulating overfishing with laws that set safe catching limits and controls on

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