Bleaching_Coral_2.jpg
By Michelle, Alana, Jade, and Katerina


Threats to Ecosystem:

Destructive fishing practices: Some examples include cyanide fishing, blast or dynamite fishing, and bottom trawling. One of the greatest threats to cold-water coral reefs is bottom-trawling.
- Cyanide fishing is a method of collection fish mainly for the use of aquariums. In order to do this people spray a sodium cyanide mixture into the fish's habitat in order to stun the fish. Doing this hurts not only the targeted population, but also many other marine organisms.
- Dynamite fishing is when people use explosives to to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection.
- Bottom trawling is towing a trawl or a fishing net along on the seafloor.

Overfishing: This affects the ecological balance of coral reef communities, warping the food chain and causing effects far beyond the directly overfished population.Coral_bleaching-fish_and_coral.jpg

Careless tourism: Careless boating, diving, snorkeling, and fishing happens around the world, with people touching reefs, stirring up sediment, collecting coral, and dropping anchors on reefs. Some tourist resorts have been built directly on top of reefs, and some empty their sewage and other waste directly into water surrounding the coral reefs.

Pollution: Urban and industrial waste, sewage, agrochemicals, and oil pollution are harming reefs. Poisons are dumped directly into the ocean or brought in by river systems. Pollutants such as sewage and runoff from farming, can make the nitrogen in seawater go up. This causes an overgrowth of algae, which covers reefs and can cut off their sunlight.

Sedimentation: Erosion caused by construction, mining, logging, and farming is increasing the amount of sediment in rivers. It then goes into the ocean where it can cover coral.

Coral mining: Live coral is taken from reefs and used for bricks, road-fill, cement for new buildings, and also sold to tourists for souvenirs.

Climate change: Corals cannot survive if the water temperature is too high. Global warming has already led to increased levels of coral bleaching, and is predicted to increase in frequency and severity in the coming decades.





Importance of Ecosystem:


Coral_Bleachin-_black_and_yellow_fish.jpg-The coral reef provides a habitat for many animals (fish, crab, etc.)

-Many birds feed on coral reef animals


-Coral reefs have high productivity for many organisms living near by

-Coral reefs provide fisheries, tourism, shoreline protection, and yield compounds that are important in the development of new medicines.

-Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea, thereby protecting coastal dwellings, agricultural land and beaches.

-It is estimated that coral reefs provide $375 billion per year around the world in goods and services.
Coral_bleaching-_Map.jpg
This is a map of diffrent areas with coral reefs trhat might be in danger.


-Coral reefs have been used in the treatment of cancer.

-Coral is very important in controlling the carbon dioxide in the water.



Food Web

This is a very complex ecosystem with many animals depending on each other. The arrows show the flow of energy. In other words if a Barracuda eats a Surgeonfish, the energy is transferred from Surgeonfish to the Barracuda.




Paint_food_web.jpg






List of Abiotic/Biotic Factors:


The Biotic factors of the ecosystem are the living things. These are included in the food web but our also expressed in the table below. The Abiotic factors are the things that add to the Coral_Bleaching-_Nemo.jpgbut are not living. Things like sunlight, rock,and wave actions.
Without them the ecosystem would not be sustainable.



Abiotic Factors
Biotic Factors
-Sunlight
-Soil
-Minerals cement the dead organic matter, stabilizing the reef structure.
-Wave action
-Rock
-Temperature
-Sediment
-Chemical composition of seawater
-Coral
-Fish
-Crab
-Seaweed
-Snails
-Coralline algae
-Encrusting bryozoans



Conservation Plan
There are many ways we can help conserve coral reefs, even though 10% of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed. Humans are a great danger to the reefs due to hazardous methods of fishing and pollution.
Some divers fish with cyanide which can be deadly; it is a poison that kills the reef and shocks the fish to make them easier to catch. Inexperienced divers also kill the reef’s by blowing them up with explosives to catch fish. If divers caught fish carefully with nets and didn’t take too many fish it would be in balance. Since divers are greedy, taking too many fish impacts the ecosystem greatly.
Another way to help protect coral reefs is encouraging governments to take pollution more seriously for the ocean and air (which are the main causes of global warming). If governments treated reefs with care and created protection laws more reefs could be safe from careless humans. Convincing people not to buy fish that were caught by destroying reefs can help promote saving the reefs. Also encouraging visitors to coral reefs to be careful and not harm the reefs.
There are several different ways people can help restore coral reefs. Such as building artificial reefs to destroy reefs. These groups, like the Coral Reef Alliance, Reef Relief, and the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation are working to help save reefs. It can help conserve coral reefs by studying them and learning more about them. The more we know about coral reefs the more we can protect



Resources


"Fishing Problems: Destructive Fishing Practices." WWF -. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/problems_fishing/destructive_fishing/>.


"Welcome | Coral Reef Alliance." Welcome | Coral Reef Alliance. Coral Reef Alliance. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://www.coral.org/>.


"Reef Relief | Learn, Explore, Act Now." Reef Relief | Learn, Explore, Act Now. Reef Relief. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://reefrelief.org/>.



"::Planetary Coral Reef Foundation:: PCRF." ::Planetary Coral Reef Foundation:: PCRF. Planetary Coral Reef Foundation. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://www.pcrf.org/>.


"Lyndsey2." Lyndsey2. Coral Cam Lesson Plans. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://coexploration.org/bbsr/coral/lessons/lyndsey2.html>.

Spongebob Time Cards. Web. <http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_time_cards>.

Pictures

"Clip Art Animals." Free Puffer Fish Clip Art Image. Web. 11 May 2012. <http://www.animalclipart.net/animal_clipart_images/puffer_fish_clip_art_cartoon_image_0515-1007-2004-4159.html>.


Nassau Grouper. Photograph. Wikipedia. Web. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/15/Nassau_grouper_in_Blijdorp_Zoo.jpg/800px-Nassau_grouper_in_Blijdorp_Zoo.jpg>.

Chaetodon. Photograph. Wikipedia. Wikipedia. Web. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/Chaetodon_capistratus1.jpg/800px-Chaetodon_capistratus1.jpg>.

Laurencia. Photograph. Wikipedia. Wikipedia. Web. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d/Laurencia.jpg/747px-L>.

Blue Tang Fish. Photograph. Wikipedia. Wikimedia. Web. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Blue_Tang.jpg>.