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Elements that influence a coral reef ecosystem

Sunlight: Corals need to grow in shallow water where sunlight can reach them. Corals depend on the zooxanthellae (algae) that grow inside of them for oxygen and other things, and since this algae needs sunlight to survive, corals also need sunlight to survive. Corals rarely develop in water deeper than 165 feet (50 meters).

Clear water: Corals need clear water that lets sunlight through to survive; they don't thrive well when the water is opaque. Sediment and plankton can cloud water, which decreases the amount of sunlight that reaches the zooxanthellae.

Warm water temperature: Reef-building corals require warm water conditions to survive. Different corals living in different regions can withstand various temperature fluctuations. However, corals generally live in water temperatures of 68-90 F or 20-32 C.

Clean water: Corals are sensitive to pollution and sediments. Sediments can settle on coral, blocking out sunlight and smothering coral polyps. Pollution from sewage and fertilizers increase nutrient levels in the water, harming corals. When there are too many nutrients in the water, the ecological balance of the coral community is altered.

Saltwater: Corals need saltwater to survive and require a certain balance in the ratio of salt to water. This is why corals don't live in areas where rivers drain fresh water into the ocean.

Directly quoted from Coral Reef Alliance:

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Also in this section:

The importance of a coral reef ecosystem
What is a coral?
Elements that influence a coral reef ecosystem
Threats to coral reef
Coral reef and global warming
Why do we try to protect the coral reef?
Indigenous knowledge of the marine ecosystem on Balobaloang

Destructive fishing practices
Dynamite fishing
Cyanide Fishing
Trawl
Overfishing
Knowledge and practice of sustainable fishing on Balobaloang

Academic works and research on Balobaloang

Global fish trade and the environment

 

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