The beauty of the terrestrial land is just the top of the icing. Underneath the waters lies the whole cake. What we see on land is the same landscape found in the waters, only with way more glamour and beauty.
Coral reefs are an entire ecosystem on their own. They provide a home to most of the sea living creatures. First and foremost, corals are animals, ancient animals related to jellyfish and anemones. An individual coral is known as a polyp. Many polyps form a colony which is now the stone like structures we see in the waters. Corals reefs now comprise of thousands of marine species making them an entire ecosystem due to the many interrelationships in between and about the reefs. The most important relationship is the symbiotic relationship between algae and corals. Corals naturally are white, but with the life in them, they provide a home to algae that forms an outer coating of the corals. Algae come in all colours, creating the beautiful scenery we hear about, Brian Speier Freeport is a rich resource to consult on existence and formation of coral reefs.
Coral reefs are also a home to a third of the entire marine life, from the rays to the small sharks to the sea cucumbers to jellyfish to squids to starfish, even to clownfish, yes Nemo is part of the family, the entire combination makes a breathtaking scenery.
Apart from the scenic view that human beings enjoy reefs help in protecting and creating land by slowing down the waves and acting as a storm breaker. In addition to this, most aquatic life particularly Jellyfish and the Anemones find habitat in the reefs. Most of the edible fish species also find nursery habitat in the reefs where they are sure of survival despite storms and harsh climatic conditions. Reproduction of all the edible species would be far much expensive without the coral reefs. Various managed homes to coral reefs also allow snorkelling as a tourist attraction activity hence contribution to the economy.
On impact on the ecosystem, coral reefs at the very least match the terrestrial rainforest’s on the standard of importance to a variety of life in the earth. Human beings for instance immensely benefit from coral reefs on food. According to world statistics, over one billion people across boundaries of the earth depend on the reefs for food. Besides direct sourcing on the reefs, fish and numerous other sea animals survive because of the reef existence. Professionals in aquatic life like Brian Speier Freeport estimate the value of coral reefs on over $180 billion every year concerning human food.
The existence of Atoll islands today even after sinking of the volcanic islands due to waves can be attributed to coral reefs in their ability to reduce the effect of storms and tsunamis on the land. Moreover, the reefs have natural existing bacteria that if isolated, they can offer reliable treatment to various human diseases. The biodiversity nature of the reefs offers various options for medical research where not only medicine comes from it as a curative measure but the natural elements incorporated in human food can be preventive. The reefs offer one hundred percent guarantee for the survival of any creatures in the face of the earth, tapping the resources through collaboration with experts in aquatic life can be substantively lucrative.
However, reefs occurrence in shallow waters because of the need for sunlight expose them to various risks, for instance, human activities that destroy the inestimable precious resource. Human developments usually have an aftertaste to the natural environment. Recent efforts to increase shipping activities as a means of transport threatens the existence of coral reefs. This is gradually destroying the vital component in the ecosystem that only occurs in shallow waters. As a result, it is vital to create awareness and implement strategies to protect the scarcely existing reefs as they make up only one percent of the world’s oceans.