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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How To Save The Coral Reefs

Do not waste water, Plastic.
Plastic are non-biodegradable materials.
They would be a bad pollutant to the ocean,sea and corals.
Plastic could easily be reused if we wash them after we take out most of the groceries or items.
Or , a better but more costly way is to buy a bag and the stuff in them.

Please Help Save The Corals By Not Polluting The Ocean And The Environment Around Us.
The World Around Us Has Been Existing For Millions Of Years And Thus The Environment Has Been Made. The World Has Been Made During A Long Period Of Time BUT The Time We Pollute The World And Make It Unhealthy And Dangerous It Would Only Take Less Than 1/10000 Years To Destroy What Has Been Made For A Long Time !

Reefs in Danger

Some of Earth's shallow, sunlit ocean waters hold a store of color and brilliance to rival any fireworks display. Off the coast of places such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Bahamas, you'll find one of our planet's most stunning life forms: coral. A haven for life in the ocean, the vibrant coral reefs draw thousands of underwater sightseeers each year.

The beauty of the coral reefs is matched only by their delicacy, making them particularly vulnerable in our increasingly polluted world. Global warming has been named as the chief culprit in the diminishing health of the reefs. But there are a number of other factors at work too, as University of Illinois researchers revealed last week. They conducted a study off the coast of the island of Curacao, near the Venezualan coast, and found that human sewage and shipyard discharge are giving rise to a lethal disease in coral. What is coral, and what are the many threats it faces?

oral is not the plant or rock that many people think it is. Rather, it is composed of fragile animals called coral polyps, each no larger than a pinhead. These animals form a thin layer on large coral reefs, which are the mounds of dead coral polyp skeletons, built up slowly layer upon layer. Different reef species grow between 5-200 millimeters (up to 8 inches) per year. Some of the oldest existing reefs are thought to be 5,000 to 10,000 years old.

There are over 2,500 species of coral. These invertebrate animals have soft, sacklike bodies. They have a mouth encircled by stinging tentacles called cnidae, which they use for feeding. Hard coral polyps use the calcium carbonate from the seawater to build a hard, cup-shaped skeleton. These limestone skeletons attach themselves to the reef, while the top part waves freely for the coral to feed.

When corals die, their skeletons remain behind on the coral reef, contributing to its slow formation. There are also soft, non-reef building corals such as sea fingers and sea whips. (References to coral in this article mean the more common hard coral.)

Coral polyps eat tiny single-celled algae called zooxanthellae, which live within the coral's tissue. These tiny algae are plants that use sunlight in the photosynthetic process, thereby requiring that corals grow in clear, shallow water, where the sun can reach them.

The zooxanthellae give coral its color. They share a symbiotic relationship: the algae provide the coral polyps with nutrients and the oxygen and carbohydrates required for producing the skeletons; the polyps provide the algae with a home and with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.

Adapted From:http://www.riverdeep.net/current/2001/11/111201_reefs.jhtml

Reefs Are in Danger

Some of Earth's shallow, sunlight ocean waters hold a store of colour and beauty to rival any fireworks display. Off the coast of places such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Bahamas, you'll find one of our planet's most stunning life forms: coral. A haven for life in the ocean, the vibrant coral reefs draw hundreds and thousands of underwater sightseeers each year.

The beauty of the coral reefs is matched only by their delicacy, making them particularly vulnerable in our increasingly polluted world. Global warming has been named as the chief culprit in the diminishing health of the reefs. But there are a number of other factors at work too, as University of Illinois researchers revealed last week. They conducted a study off the coast of the island of Curacao, near the Venezualan coast, and found that human sewage and shipyard discharge are giving rise to a lethal disease in coral. What is coral, and what are the many threats it faces?

Coral is not the plant or rock that many people think it is. Rather, it is composed of fragile animals called coral polyps, each no larger than a pinhead. These animals form a thin layer on large coral reefs, which are the mounds of dead coral polyp skeletons, built up slowly layer upon layer. Different reef species grow between 5-200 millimeters (up to 8 inches) per year. Some of the oldest existing reefs are thought to be 5,000 to 10,000 years old.

There are over 2,500 species of coral. These invertebrate animals have soft, sacklike bodies. They have a mouth encircled by stinging tentacles called cnidae, which they use for feeding. Hard coral polyps use the calcium carbonate from the seawater to build a hard, cup-shaped skeleton. These limestone skeletons attach themselves to the reef, while the top part waves freely for the coral to feed.

When corals die, their skeletons remain behind on the coral reef, contributing to its slow formation. There are also soft, non-reef building corals such as sea fingers and sea whips. (References to coral in this article mean the more common hard coral.)

Coral polyps eat tiny single-celled algae called zooxanthellae, which live within the coral's tissue. These tiny algae are plants that use sunlight in the photosynthetic process, thereby requiring that corals grow in clear, shallow water, where the sun can reach them.

The zooxanthellae give coral its color. They share a symbiotic relationship: the algae provide the coral polyps with nutrients and the oxygen and carbohydrates required for producing the skeletons; the polyps provide the algae with a home and with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.

Coral is not the plant or rock that many people think it is. Rather, it is composed of fragile animals called coral polyps, each no larger than a pinhead. These animals form a thin layer on large coral reefs, which are the mounds of dead coral polyp skeletons, built up slowly layer upon layer. Different reef species grow between up to 8 inches per year.

There are over 2,500 species of coral. These invertebrate animals have soft, sacklike bodies. They have a mouth encircled by stinging tentacles called cnidae, which they use for feeding. Hard coral polyps use the calcium carbonate from the seawater to build a hard, cup-shaped skeleton. These limestone skeletons attach themselves to the reef, while the top part waves freely for the coral to feed.

When corals die, their skeletons remain behind on the coral reef, contributing to its slow formation. There are also soft, non-reef building corals such as sea fingers and sea whips.

Coral polyps eat tiny single-celled algae called zooxanthellae, which live within the coral's tissue. These tiny algae are plants that use sunlight in the photosynthetic process, thereby requiring that corals grow in clear, shallow water, where the sun can reach them.

The zooxanthellae give coral its color.

Adapted from: Google Search ,

Monday, August 11, 2008

What are reefs?

Appearing as solitary forms in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, corals are extremely ancient animals that evolved into modern reef-building forms over the last 25 million years ago. Coral reefs are unique (e.g., the largest structures on earth of biological origin) and complex systems. Rivaling old growth forests in longevity of their ecological communities and well-developed reefs reflect thousands and hundreds years of history.

Adapted from : http://www.coris.noaa.gov/about/what_are/

Reefs

Coral reefs are Araonit structures produced by living organisms, found in marine waters with little to no nutrients in the water. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm the reef by encouraging the growth of algae. In most reefs, the predominant organisms are stony corals that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonite. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and bioeroders, produces a massive calcareous formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life. Tropical corals do not grow at depths of over 30 m (100 ft). Temperature has less of an effect on the distribution of tropical coral, but it is generally accepted that they do not exist in waters below 18 Degree Celcius.However, deep waters corals can exist at greater depths and colder temperatures. Although deep water corals also form reefs, very little is known about them.

How are reefs important to us?

Largely unexplored deep coral reefs, some perhaps hundreds of years old, off the coast of the southeastern U.S. are not only larger than expected but also home to commercially valuable fish populations and many newly discovered and unusual species. Results from a series of NOAA-funded expeditions to document these previously unstudied and diverse habitats and their associated marine life have revealed some surprising results.

Some of those findings and images of the reef habitats 60 to 100 miles off the North Carolina coast will be featured in a high-definition film, “Beneath the Blue”, to be shown for the first time in public May 17 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, N.C. Research scientists, joined by museum staff, conducted a series of expeditions to the deep coral habitats on the continental slope off the east coast from North Carolina to central Florida, in an area known as the Blake Plateau.

“We discovered that a number of animals thought to be rare are common around the corals, documented many animals outside of their previously known ranges, and discovered species new to science,” NOAA zoologist Martha Nizinski said. “We also have had a firsthand look at how animals are using the habitat and interacting with each other. These discoveries relate to the fact that this has been a difficult habitat for scientists to sample because of the deep depths, rough topography and strong currents from the overlying Gulf Stream.”

For Nizinski, who has worked at NOAA Fisheries’ National Systematics Laboratory in Washington, DC since 1987 and served as co-principal investigator and invertebrate specialist on the annual expeditions between 2002 and 2005, the opportunity to explore these uncharted waters was one she could not pass up. She worked with a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the U.S. Geological Survey, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, which operates the research vessel Seward Johnson and manned submersible Johnson Sea Link used in the expeditions.

Nizinski says the coral habitats explored during the expeditions appear to be more extensive than previously believed and are important habitat for several species of commercially and recreationally important fish as well as sponges, crabs, brittle stars and other creatures. The corals also contain historical data about changing ocean climate and productivity, and are hotspots of biodiversity. Many organisms live in and around these deep coral habitats, including species new to science and species with medicalnal potential. She is still studying the biological and coral samples collected during the various expeditions, research that will take several more years to complete.

Prior to these expeditions to explore and document deep coral habitats off the coast of the southeastern U.S., little was known about the location or extent of these reefs, composed primarily of the deep coral species Lophelia pertusa, how they form, and what marine species are dependent upon them. Lophelia is the most common reef-building cold-water coral and is found throughout the world. It has been found as far north as Nova Scotia in the western North Atlantic Ocean colonizing seamounts and other hard surfaces, but does not form the extensive banks that are found off the North Carolina coast, where Lophelia reefs may be tens to hundreds of thousands of years old.

Unlike the colorful corals found in shallow tropical waters, Lophelia lacks zooxanthellae, the symbiotic algae which live inside most tropical reef-building corals. Generally white in color, Lophelia is fragile and slow growing. It lives in water depths between 80 and 3,000 meters (roughly 260 to 9,850 feet), but is most commonly found between 200 and 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) deep, where there is no light, and deep-water temperatures range from about 4 to 12 °C (between 39 and 54°F).

Nizinski says the Lophelia deep-reef habitats may be more important to many western Atlantic species than previously believed. Yet despite being in deep water with strong currents, the reefs are potentially threatened by fishing, energy exploration, and other activities. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has proposed for protection, as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPCs), a large area which includes the deep-water coral habits off North Carolina.

Adapted From:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519095526.htm

Violent World of Corals Is Facing New Dangers

Beautifull abloom with a wealth of life unsurpassed for total beauty, coral reefs seem to exist in a state of dreamy tranquillity. Not so.

The reef is in truth a realm of violent struggle and constant problems. Coral colonies wage unrelenting chemical warfare on each other, their polyps stinging, dissolving and poisoning each other. Bigger reef creatures savage large chunks of colonies and fill the water with toxins. Sooner or later, an irresistible force like a hurricane or a change in sea level lays waste the whole teeming ecosystem and the corals must rebuild.

But rebuild they do, and this resilience is at the heart of a dispute among marine biologists over the contribution of human activity to the stresses on coral ecosystems.

One school of thought holds that corals worldwide are now in serious peril because of human assaults like global warming, overfishing, pollution and physical destruction of reefs by fishermen and tourists.

An opposing school holds that while some reefs are indeed in big trouble, many others remain pristine and even the damaged ones have adapted in the past to natural forces at least as destructive as human activity.

Any serious threat to corals would be an ecological tragedy. The biological diversity of coral reefs compares with that of tropical forests. Reefs themselves, built from the calcified skeletons of polyps, are the largest structures created by life. The many strange toxins evolved by reef denizens for their biological warfare hold considerable promise as treatments for various human diseases.

For all these reasons, there has been a heightening of scientific interest in corals of late, including an outpouring of research on coral ecology and chemistry.

Coral colonies, each composed of numerous tiny, tentacled polyps, take the forms of trees, shrubs, fans, plates and huge boulders. The phantasmagoria of shapes creates a habitat for other marine creatures like fish, lobsters, sponges, mollusks, octopuses and sea anemones.

Competition with a quarter given is the rule in this interdependent but mutually hostile Planet. When polyps in one colony come face to face with another in a constant competition for scarce space, they expand their bodies to engulf their rivals and exude digestive juices that turn the competitors to jelly.

As a countermeasure, polyps in the second colony grow "sweeper tentacles" studded with special stinging organelles that "zap the neighbors," says Dr. Judith Lang, a reef ecologist at the Texas Memorial Museum at the University of Texas.

Still other polyps enshroud their enemies in a sticky mucus that dissolves the tissues. Combat with toxins is also thought to be a common mode of warfare, though the toxins have proved hard to pin down in actual use.

Coral reefs may be one of the most naturally poisonous environments on earth.

Because of this great potential, the reefs have recently become prime prospecting grounds. Many potentially useful compounds have been discovered and are now undergoing further testing, said Dr. David J. Newman, a chemist in the National Cancer Institute's Natural Products Branch. The center has been collecting about 1,000 samples of coral-reef organisms a year for the last five years. The prospecting effort is still young, the journey to market for any drug derived from natural sources typically takes 5 to 15 years.

In nature, the coral toxins may play an indirect but key role in the reef ecosystems' resilience in the face of disturbance. Dr. Robert Endean and Dr. Ann Cameron of the University of Queensland in Australia, who has long studied the Great Barrier Reef, postulate that extensive boulder-like coral colonies have been able to exist continuously for hundreds and even thousands of years because they are so successful in using toxins to escape from predators.



Uploaded By: WILLIAM K. STEVENS, February 16, 1993

Adapted From: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE2D71638F935A25751C0A965958260

Welcome

We,Ian,Xea And Heeraj Are Trying To Save The Reef By Informing The Whole World About The Importance Of The Coral Reef That Is Facing Dangers.We Should Come Together And Safe The Reefs... The Ocean Is Facing A Great Variety Of Danger And Thus We Need Everyones Help And Effort To Save The Reef & The Ocean.Please Support Us In This Effort By Reading Our Blog And Understanding The Importance Of The Coral Reef...
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