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The importance of a coral reef ecosystem  

Imagine a coral reef like a bustling city: the buildings are made of coral and thousands of inhabitants live in, on, or near the buildings. In this sense, a coral reef is like a metropolis under the sea.

The geological record indicates that ancestors of modern coral reef ecosystems were formed at least 240 million years ago. The coral reefs existing today began growing as early as 50 million years ago. Most established coral reefs are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old. Although size sometimes indicates the age of a coral reef, this is not always true. Different species of coral grow at different rates depending on water temperature, oxygen level, amount of turbulence, and availability of food.

Coral reefs are massive structures made of limestone deposited by living things. Although thousands of species inhabit coral reefs, only a fraction produce the limestone that builds the reef. The most important reef-building organisms are the corals.

Coral reefs support approximately 25 percent of all known marine species. As one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, coral reefs are home to more than 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral, and thousands of other plants and animals.

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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