Essay The Effects Of Coral Reef Ecosystems On Earth

1111 Words Nov 29th, 2014 null Page
Introduction Coral reef ecosystems are arguably one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. (Spalding 2001) Because of the marine life that swarms these areas, the reefs are comparable to those of tropical rainforests. (Spalding 2001) Additionally they play a critical role in the success of coastal communities, providing protection from storms, and drives tourism to these areas. However, due to unfortunate changes that inundates the coral reef ecosystems from increases in human population, overfishing, and tremendous rises in pollutant productions that is creating devastating impacts to all organisms and areas involved. (Spalding 2001) Aside from the aforementioned issues, a rapid increase in climate changes through human activities has been responsible for the plummet in the success of the ecosystem. (Spalding 2001) With the increases in global climate changes comes an increase in sea surface temperatures that are amongst the most vulnerable of the ecosystems. (Brown 1997; Spalding 2001) As a result coral reefs are predicted to continue toward a downward spiral. (Spalding 2001) Corals share a endosymbiotic relationship with the algae zooxanthellae thus creating an extreme sensitivity to changes in temperature. (Spalding 2001) This thermal stress response known as coral bleaching occurs and has been on a steady rise. (Brown 1997; Spalding 2001) Amongst the reefs that suffer such thermal distress are those that are found in the Caribbean- which only makes up…

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