Flash Cards

Coral Reef Ecology

Term Definition
Coral reefs rocky mounds and/or ridges formed in the sea by marine organisms through the accumulation and deposition of limestone (calcium carbonate)
polyps individual organisms
Stony corals small marine animals produce a hard skeleton made of calcium carbonate, which they extract from the seawater and combine with CO2 for limestone
Coral belong to this phylum cnidarian
Hermatypic Corals Corals that form large colonies called reefs and have a symbiotic relationship with the dinoflagellate Zooxanthellae
Ahermatypic Corals Corals that are solitary or form small colonies- they often lack the symbiotic
relationship with Zooxanthellae and do not help build reefs
Coral reef mutualism between.. Coral Polyp and Zooxanthellae
Coral Polyp does what for zooxanthellae provides a home, itrates and phosphates, and it gives off CO2 – 90% of the coral’s nutrients
Zooxanthellae does what for the coral polyp carries out photosynthesis and make oxygen and food for the polyp through photosynthesis
First stage of the coral life cycle planula larvae- allows it to be free swimming.
Second stage of coral life cycle polyp — the coral is stuck to a rock
cementing crusts that act as 'mortar' for the coral 'blocks' Coralline algae
Worm Reefs tropical reef worm (Phragmatopoma lapidosa ) construct low reefs of tubes consisting of sand grains cemented together by protein
Requirements for Reef Formation A solid structure for the base with a hard substrate for attachment, Warm water temperatures > 20°C (68°F) and oceanic salinities, High Light Levels, Clear waters , Low nutrient waters – low in phosphate and nitrogen nutrients, Good water circulation
Three Major Areas of Coral Reef Development Indo Pacific Region, Red Sea,Greater Caribbean Region
Minor Regions of smaller fragmented areas of coral reef development Eastern Pacific, off Western Australia, Southern Japan in the Pacific ocean, Tropical eastern Atlantic, East coast of southern Brazil, Island of Bermuda in western Atlantic
Shore or inner reef zone area is between the crest and the shoreline. Depending on the shape of the reef, this area can be full of life including fishes, sea cucumbers, starfish, and anemones
Crest reef zone highest point of the reef and where the waves break over the reef
Fore or outer reef zone As the reef wall falls off, the waters get calmer. Around 30 feet deep, will be the most populated part of the reef along with lots of different types of coral species
seamount an underwater mountain
guyot underwater mountain or seamount with a flat top
patch reef an isolated coral growth forming a small platform in a lagoon, barrier reef, or atoll
fringing reef corals growing around young islands
barrier reef island subsides and corals grow upward and outward toward the sea, forming a barrier reef
atoll coral growth may form an atoll on top of the island when it has completely subsided below sea level (looks like a circle in the middle of the ocean)
Coral Reef Health Indicators ? Marine Apex Predators
? Biomass
? Average Catch Length
? Coral Cover
? Indicator Organisms
Coral Reef Threats ? Chemical pollutants
? Excess nutrients
? Sedimentation
? Coral bleaching
? Coral diseases
? Climate change and ocean acidification
? Overfishing
Indicator Organisms Global (name 3) Banded coral shrimp, Butterfly fish, Crown of thorns starfish, Fleshy algae, Grouper >30 cm, Hard coral, Lobster, Long-spined black sea urchins, Morey eel,
Parrotfish (>20 cm), Pencil urchin, Recently killed coral, Snapper, Sponge, Sweetlips, Triton

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