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Annotated bibliography: Coral Reefs Need to be Protected “Coral Reef Ecosystems.” Reef Relief. n.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar 2012.

Corals are made of thin layers or plates of limestone produced over time by coral polyps (soft-bodied sea animals).Polyps vary in size from minute form to a foot length. They live in a mutual relationship with other zooplanktons that gives corals their color. Corals exist in two forms; soft (gorgonians) and hard (sclerectinia ) corals. Hard corals differ from gorgonians due to the presence of corallites or a rigid exoskeleton that protects their soft tissues. However, soft corals lack the exoskeleton and locomote by swaying with the currents.

Reefs are made of, not only soft and hard corals, but also mollusks, sea turtles, sponges, dolphins, crustaceans, sharks etc. Key factors determining diversity and abundance of organisms on the reefs include competition for space, food, and sunlight. Components of coral reefs are dependent as well as linked with other organisms. This implies that variation in the supply of a given species can significantly hinder both multiplicity and abundance of other organisms. For instance, increased overfishing of herbivore fish that result into a large flourish of algae leads to scores of marine life, like the sea urchins.

Abundance and diversity of organisms comprised of corals are directly related to both marine and terrestrial environments. Mangrove forests and seagrass beds are mainly essential facets of a larger coral community. They form a meadow between coral reefs and mangrove habitats. Besides providing shelter and protection to species like lobsters and stone crabs. They also support many food webs by providing nutrients to the sea animals. Ideally, mangroves grow along the subtropical and tropical coast and their root systems helps aid in stabilizing the shoreline, whilst producing nutrients and filtering pollutants. Their detritus and submerged roots provide nursery, feeding and breeding grounds for the birds, fish and other invertebrates.

Factsheets – Coral Reefs and Your Coastal Watershed. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 06 Mar 2012. Web. 25 Mar 2012.

Corals are one of the world’s great ecosystems after the tropical plant forests and animal diversity. They are sensitive to areas having distinctive lights, temperatures, oxygen and nutrients supplies. When the environmental factors fall out, the given array of such requirements, dynamics, along with healthy of corals community could be critically disrupted. This is the main reason why coral communities are a great indicator of ecological health and water eminence of the coastal watershed. Coral reef ecosystem is a separate system known as valuable environmentally as well as in terms of economic possessions. The majority of individuals’ thinks that corals are made up of rocks and plants, but they are composed of coral polyps which are a calcium carbonate secreting animal. The carbonate functions as a skeleton lying within the living soft tissues. Benefits of corals reefs include an aesthetic and recreational resource for persons living in coastal regions, provision of protection for beaches and harbors as well as a living laboratory for learners and researchers to know more about complex ecological and biological processes among other benefits.

Moreover, coral reef habitats are sensitive to hindrances like physical contact and pollution. Impacts on reefs could emanate from actions within or in proximity to the reef. Pollution and disturbances could result in diseases in the corals like bleaching, hurricanes and other natural occurrences which can have adverse effects on the corals.

Levins, Nicole. “Coral Reefs: Nature’s Medicine Cabinet.” The Nature Conservancy, 18 Feb 2011. Web. 01 Apr 2012.

The author highlights the cures that coral reefs hold for humans’ most shared and major ailments. By protecting sea rainforests, nature conservancy ensures that reefs will facilitate more medicinal uses. In the underwater pharmacy, physicists have established multiple medical treatments out of the world’s ocean resources. For example, begula neritina commonly known as bryozoans, a fouling organism found in tropical and temperate climates, provides bryostatin 1 (anti-cancer compound). Recently, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in U.S collected over 25,000 pounds of these creatures from pilings and docks with diminished impact on the population. In the current market, there are some drugs for treating pain and cancer obtained from marine life. Right now, over 25 marine-derived medicines have been examined in human trials. However, there’s possibility that researchers will unveil more therapeutic hidden mysteries in the marine environs in the future. The scientists are exploring bivalves (mollusks) to gain more insight on the aging process, inclusive of surrounding stressors and metabolic activities. As a matter of fact, one coral reefs ecologist holds that the probability of discovering medicine in the sea compared to on land, is about 300 to 500 times greater. As we speak, climate change is hindering coral ecosystem health. Microbial communities are more likely susceptible to such changes, whereas some are beginning to migrate or decline. About 95% of world seas remain undiscovered, hence there is a likelihood we may lose significant marine organisms, without even knowing that they were in existence. However, by safeguarding ocean environments through the establishment of marine protected regions and creation of adaptation strategies, nature conservancy is protecting the marine variety of life.

MacPherson, Rick. “Coral Reefs Need You. “Ocean Portal. National Museum of Natural History, 13 Oct2010.Web. 25 Mar 2012.

Coral reefs are one of the world most spectacular ecosystems. However, their importance to humans and marine life is immense. Although reefs cover almost 1% of the sea, they support around 25% of the total marine life. Also, they produce millions of dollars and thousands of job opportunities for more than 150 nations across the globe, as well as establish storm protection and food source for the close societies. Additionally, different species of reefs provide scientists and analysts with common chemical compounds used to create life-saving drugs

Sadly, coral reefs are in great decline. Nearly 20% of the global reefs have been lost over the past decades. Also, researchers predict that by the end of 2050, we could risk losing the remaining coral reefs, unless immediate action is taken to safeguard them. However, when going to visit a reef destination, there are tips given to follow in order to preserve and support the health of the reef ecosystem.

The author argues that one should not rest or stand on corals since they are fragile and harmful. Always secure the equipment to avert it from snagging or brushing corals and ensure that you are buoyant all the times. Marine protected regions are important for reef conservation; therefore, it is essential to pick a holiday destination that has protected areas. The author also encourages visitors to be certain in making donations or paying user fees when touring marine parks to provide revenue to the locals who depend on corals for their sustenance

Prior to planning for the next holiday, you should take time to do research as well as select an environment-friendly hotel that practices conservation of energy and treatment of solid wastes in a more responsible way.

Pearce, Fred. “Massive coral bleaching strikes Great Barrier Reef.” New Scientist. Reed

According to Pearce, coral bleaching strikes when high temperatures in the ocean provoke algae outside the coral polyps. Bleached corals usually recover the following season, but when the algae are completely lost, the corals die off and reefs crumble. According to Thomas, ambassador of the Reef Alliance in New York, it will take much time before the confirmation of the disaster level of bleached and dead corals along the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Fiji and New Caledonia.

In Australia, there have been emerging concerns among the marine researchers concerning the recent widespread of bleaching. Furthermore, Park Authority received multiple bleaching reports from the researcher, visitors and tour operators. In regard to their websites information, bleaching in Keppel is to the extreme, where every species is suffering. Magnetic Island and Whitsunday Island are other regions badly hit by bleaching. Increased temperatures seem to be linked to the onset of El Nino rains that also led to bleaching back in 1998. According to Goreau, global warming is the primary underlying factor, meaning reefs are always subjected to stress before the onset of El Nino. Donne holds that there is little coral mortality, but Goreau argues that catastrophic mortality will have to be taken into account. He also claims that Austrian authority is reluctant in discussing the extent of coral reef bleaching, due to its action on global warming. The author concludes by saying that the widespread of coral bleaching has hit the world’s largest barrier reef, another time over a period of four short years, which has also been reported to spread through the South Pacific coral islands.

Talbot F., and Wilkinson, C., 2001, Coral Reefs, Mangroves and Seagrasses: A Sourcebook for Managers. 29 Mar 2012. Print.

According to the author, over eleven percent of reefs worldwide have been completely damaged beyond recognition. In 1988, another sixteen percent were destroyed by climate change connected to coral bleaching. Outside efficient management, another thirty percent of the global reef will be severely drained in the subsequent 30 to 50 years, which is a small duration in human history. As this harm is happening across the globe, its causes are narrow. The estimates exclude the 1997 coral bleaching which was caused by high ocean temperature levels. Most of the reef destruction has been due to human impact, mostly unintentional or accidental, which is often overstated by natural stress?

Over fifty percent of the entire mangrove regions have been cleared without even knowing the importance of such coastal forests. For the sea grass beds, they have sustained moderate losses for many years. However, managers and economists have begun to examine dollar value of such resources to the marine and coastal fisheries as well as shoreline protection. They found that such values were surprisingly much higher compared to the money received through pulling trawl nets and chopping down the mangroves through seagrass beds. Real life situations are used to give practical guidance, as well as draw conclusions regarding management of the seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and coral reefs. The information from this source is an amalgamation from the finest scientists and sea resources managers. The book is useful to fishery managers, tourist developers, traditional reef owners and town or regional planners

World’s Reef Fishes Tussling With Human Overpopulation.”UPI Space Daily”. 12 Apr 2011: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 01 Feb 2012.

According to the author, researchers from over 49 countries have shown the prowess of coral reef system to serve humanity has increased drastically with species population. Besides, growth in human demographic affects the capacity of coral reefs to operate normally. Coral reefs provide a variety of significant goods as well as services to humankind, starting from food production to economic revenues. The different experiment shows that biodiversity has a positive effect on multiple ecosystem procedures, despite the fact that the species requiring ascertaining functionality of particular process is quite low. The study showed that detrimental humanity effects on the reef fish could be broadened, since some 76 % of the reefs over the globe are close to human settlements and can worsen as 80% of nations with reefs are supposed to double in human population in the next fifty to hundred years. However, the results of the study suggest that there is no insurance and the coral reef ecosystem is in great danger due to human pressures.

The author also talks of human overpopulation which is a sensitive topic, incorporating religion to science and politics. Hence, identifying politically and socially acceptable remedies to prevent growth in human population is at the edge of finding ultimate remedies for biodiversity protection as well as prevention of hardships which are unnecessary. Most significantly, it was discovered that the huge human population was linked with damaging factors of extensive land use, coastal development, and overfishing.


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