Coral Reefs Are One Of The Most Diverse And Valuable Ecosystems On Earth

725 Words Aug 4th, 2016 3 Pages
Coral reefs are one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, making them the equivalent of an aquatic rain forest (Kitch and Edwards). Occupying a mere one percent of the seafaring environment, coral reefs are home to more than one quarter of all known marine species. This translates to approximately four thousand species of fish, eight-hundred species of hard corals. and hundreds of other unclassified marine organisms (Fast Facts). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists estimate that as of today, there are approximately one to eight million undiscovered species of organisms in existence that live in and around coral reefs (Kitch and Edwards). Tragically, coral reefs have seen a decline in propagation over the last fifty years due to a multitude of human related activities not limited to rising global temperatures, pollution, the introduction of invasive species, overfishing, and sedimentation from poor land use practices. As of today, approximately twenty percent of all coral reefs on Earth have been destroyed by man, hastening their categorization into the endangered species list. Based upon mathematical projections of recent trends, the corals that remain today will likely vanish by 2050 (Morelle). Each day reefs are damaged from sedimentation by coastal development, oil…

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