What are Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs are very diverse, large underwater systems which are composed of skeleton of coral polyps.
Symbiotic Relationship: Coral polyps which are tiny marine animals live in symbiotic relationship with Zooxanthellae that are microscopic algae.
Zooxanthellae provides nutrients to the coral polyps by doing photosynthesis.
Coral polyps provide habitat to the algae.
Location: Coral reefs are usually found in shallow tropical regions with clean & warm water. Cold deep coral reefs are not common.
Why are coral reefs found in shallow tropical regions?
Tropical regions receive high sunlight throughout the year. Hence, it allows the Zooxanthellae to perform the process of photosynthesis.
The coral reefs are found in shallow ocean waters because in deep water sunlight cannot reach and thus it hampers the photosynthesis process. The coral polyps have delicate calcium carbonate skeletons & hence live in low-pressure regions. Also, the formation of coral reefs that involves precipitation of calcium carbonate is possible only in warm & low pressure water.
Importance of Coral Reefs:
1. Coral reefs are called the “rainforests of sea” because they are biospots of biological diversity just like tropical rainforests on land.
2. Coral reefs provide habitats to numerous marine animals.
3. Coral reefs are sites of tourism & fishing.
4. Coral reefs protect shorelines by absorbing wave energy.
With Great Love,
Er. Amit Yadav