Corals are also found farther from the equator in places where warm currents flow out of the tropics, such as in Florida and southern Japan. From the approximate number of more than 1200 fish species, it has been estimated that about 10% species of fish found in this region are endemic. Types of coral reefs. Coral reefs are the most spectacular under-water structures. Coral reefs take four principal forms. The Caribbean includes a few atolls, the best known is the Glover’s atoll reef which is located off the coast of Belize. Barrier reefs are some of the most well-known types of coral reefs and are located in varied regions of the world. Approximately 300 species of hard corals have been found in the Red Sea. Coral reefs occur in tropical regions where the mean surface temperature is above 20�C. By Khushboo Sheth on January 25 2018 in Environment. Since the climate doesn’t change much around the equator, coral reefs can flourish without the worry of lack of food or nutrients because it stays almost even all year. Ashley Todd — April 10, 2018. These coastal communities are also dependent on the coral reef ecosystem for subsistence. The world's most famous barrier reef, the Of these, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest one and is an approximate 2500 km in length. Why? People around the world also rely on coral reefs for food, medicine, and environmental protection like preventing coastal erosion. Scientists are still discovering marine species living on coral reefs. Coral reefs in the Red Sea have developed high tolerance to variations on water temperatures. These are in areas where the depth of water is less than 150-450 feet. The water exchange between the Red Sea and the Indian ocean is minimum, allowing the development of unique characteristics which distinguishes this reef ecosystem from other reef ecosystems of the world. The study of coral reef environments has always been quite far behind the study of other environments like rainforests. They are of three types - Fringing Reefs, Barrier Reefs, and Atolls. Approximately 700 species of coral and more than 3,000 species of fish have been discovered in the Indo-Pacific region and most of the marine life in this region is concentrated in a region, comprising western New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and southern Philippines. Coral reefs are critical marine habitat on which many ocean species depend. Although this isn’t always true, there are many reasons behind why this might happen. In addition to this, they can use their tentacles to get zooplankton and even small fish. So why are coral reefs found in tropical waters more often than subtropical regions? The coral reef ecosystem of this region hosts the greatest marine biodiversity on Earth. They have some similarity to the advanced stages of the fringing reefs though they contrast primarily in size. The average surface water temperature in the summer is about 26 °C (79 °F) in the north and 30 °C (86 °F) in the south with a temperature variation of 2 °C (3.6 °F) during the winter. Coral reefs in the Caribbean provide protection from hurricanes to many coastal communities. some regions of the Indo-Pacific still remain unexplored and new species of plants and sea animals still remain to be  discovered. According to Coral-Reef-Info.com, coral reefs … About & Disclaimer | Terms | Privacy | Contact, The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs, Coral Bleaching Coral Reefs Coral Bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, The Impact of Surveillance Cameras on Crime. Why Are Coral Reefs Dying? These are the homes of approximate 2 million marine species including fishes, turtles, sea horses, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, algae, sharks, urchins, sponges, clams, octopuses, monk seals, and much more. This is due primarily to the upwelling of colder ocean currents that reduce water temperatures in these regions. They are most commonly found at shallow depths in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water coral reefs exist on smaller scales in other areas. They teem with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. The rising temperature of seawater is a major environmental threat to coral reefs. Coral reefs are either restricted or absent from along the west coast of the Americas, as well as the west coast of Africa. Coral reefs are an object of fascination for many who love going to the beach and seeing ocean life, but they are facing many problems caused by humans. Coral reefs have a biodiversity of even higher than that of a tropical forest. They absorb wave energy and contribute to the reduction of coastal erosion. The algae which live on them are photosynthesizing plants. Reefs can come in patches of a few meters length, but they can also form complex structures that stretch over more than 2000 km such as the Great Barrier Reef. Where are coral reefs located? Coral reefs are present in the warm and clean waters of the tropical and sub-tropical oceans across the earth. Where are coral reefs located? Ocean acidification also degrades the coral reefs. The greater  variety of coral reef formations and biodiversity sets this region apart from other coral reefs in the world. Because the global distribution of coral reefs is largely determined by the ecological requirements of the reef-building corals themselves. Coral reefs have a biodiversity of even higher than that of a tropical forest. This week, more than 2,000 international reef scientists, policymakers and stakeholders are gathering in Hawaii to discuss what to do about the global decline of coral reefs. Coral reefs are found all over the world, but majority of them re found in a wide belt in the middle third of the Earth that covers the ocean around the equator. Hard corals require warm, clear and shallow waters, such as those found in the tropics at 30 degrees north or south of the equator, although some species of corals can withstand other temperatures. Coral Reefs are found in all tropical places they are mostly either found 150 feet or 450 feet deep. These are the homes of approximate 2 million marine species including fishes, turtles, sea horses, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, algae, sharks, urchins, sponges, clams, octopuses, monk seals, and much more. In recent decades many of the world’s coral reefs have suffered because of global warming, polluted waters and more direct human harm, such as through unethical overfishing.. Due to their massive formation between the surface and the first few dozen meters of depth, coral reefs form a barrier that absorbs the elements coming from the open sea in a very efficient way. Corals thrive best in tropical waters where temperatures range from 23 to 29 °C (73 to 84 °F); however, some corals are able to thrive in water temperatures below 18 °C (64 °F), and some have adapted to survive in more extremes temperatures. Coral reefs are not common along the western coasts of South America and the African continent. Most coral reefs are located in tropical shallow waters less than 50 meters deep, in the western regions of the Indian ocean, Pacific Ocean and Greater Caribbean. The second largest coral reef can be found off the coast of Belize, in Central America.. Other reefs are … The biggest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef, which is located off the coast of … Coral reefs are either restricted or absent from along the west coast of the Americas, as well as the west coast of Africa. Most of us know coral reefs are beautiful, but did you know that they are a vital component of ocean health? They form close to the equator near coastlines and around islands throughout the world. Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services for tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection. They can also occur in cold and deep water; but these reefs are produced by different species compared to the warm and shallow water reefs that are found mostly along the equator between the tropics of cancer and capricorn. One fantastic example is secosteroids. Coral reefs also promote tourism and are essential for the sustainability of the fishing industry as that offers employment to billions of people all over the world. However, scientists are catching up and in the past couple of decades some incredible advances in medicine have come from coral reefs. Corals can get nutrients from the byproducts that these algae produce. Zooxanthellae is a type of algae that produces oxygen by photosynthesis and provide glucose, glycerol, and amino acids to the coral polyps. These coral reefs not only support countless animals and provide a spectacular underwater landscape for filmmakers, scuba divers, and other ocean explorers, they give immeasurable value to people around the world. Many small countries are also contributing to coral reef conservation by putting a restriction on fishing. The biodiversity in the Caribbean coral reef ecosystem comprises approximately 65 known species of hard corals and an approximate number of between 500-700 fish species. This phenomenon is called coral bleaching. The Red sea coral reef ecosystem is located in the north region of the Indian ocean, between the Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and extends for 2,000 km (1,240 miles) along the shoreline, which consist mostly of fringing reef formations. However, coral ecosystems face serious threats, mainly from the effects of global climate change, unsustainable fishing and land-based pollution. The Caribbean region is where the second largest barrier, the Mesoamerican Barrier reef, is located. Corals can survive for thousands of years, but without their symbiotic algae, they die; what's left will be the white coral skeleton. Coral reefs are found in more than 100 countries around the world. They are composed of a massive amount of biological diversity, the highest on Earth in fact, and are known for their beauty and tranquility. Thelargest coral reef in the world is the … The reefs grow best in shallow, warm, clear, sunny and moving water. Unlike other coral reef ecosystems at the tropics, the coral reefs in the Red Sea have adapted to variable temperatures. Coral Reefs are of great significance to humans as these protect coastal settlements from tropical storms by dissipating the wave energy of the sea and minimizing the damage in the coastal areas. This is a remarkable statistic when you consider that reefs cover just a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the earth’s surface and less than two percent of the ocean bottom. For more information on these regions, use the links (above) to visit the page of our website devoted to each. The distribution of coral reefs around the world is determined by a group of environmental conditions in which the principal builders of coral reefs, hard corals, may thrive. The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. These are the marine habitats of thousands of marine species. The Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea near Australia and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef located near New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean are the notable examples of Coral Reef across the world. Similarly, corals produce nutrients that the algae then take in and they also provide them with shelter. The gradual cementing of the hard skeletons of tiny living organisms called coral polyps over thousands of years result in coral reef formations. These organisms have zooxanthellae in their tissues. This is due primarily to upwelling and strong cold coastal currents that reduce water temperatures in these areas (Nybakken, 1997). The Indo-Pacific region is the largest coral reef development in the world, covering a vast area of the Eastern Indian and Western Pacific oceans. These are in areas where the depth of water is less than 150-450 feet. 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