Coral Reefs are amazing habitats; offering vibrant colors and the greatest biodiversity of any marine ecosystem on the planet. Some coral reefs are so large they are even visible from outer space! But coral reefs only occupy less than one tenth of one percent of the ocean floor. The National Park Service has ten parks with coral reefs stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
Coral reefs provide habitat for a large variety of marine life, including various sponges, oysters, clams, crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, and many species of fish. Coral reefs are also linked ecologically to nearby seagrass, mangrove, and mudflat communities.
A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups. Coral belongs to the class Anthozoa in the animal phylum Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones and jellyfish.
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Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Coral polyps, the animals primarily responsible for building reefs, can take many forms: large reef building colonies, graceful flowing fans, and even small, solitary organisms. Thousands of species of corals have been discovered; some live in warm, shallow, tropical seas and others in the cold, dark depths of the ocean.
Coral reef s are important ocean habitat s and offer a compelling case of the risks of climate change. Reefs provide a large fraction of Earth’s biodiversity —they have been called “the rain forest s of the seas.”. Scientists estimate that 25 percent of all marine species live in and around coral reefs, making them one of the most diverse habitats in the world.
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs. (link is external) for food and shelter. 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.
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. Scientists estimate that there may be millions of undiscovered species of organisms living in and around reefs.
Coral reef, ridge or hummock formed in shallow ocean areas by algae and the calcareous skeletons of certain coelenterates, of which coral polyps are the most important. A coral reef may grow into a permanent coral island.
Coral reefs are large underwater structures composed of the skeletons of colonial marine invertebrates called coral. The coral species that build reefs are known as hermatypic, or "hard," corals ...