Ghada Ghazi – Environmental Researcher
MSc in Marine Biology – King Abdulaziz University
Yes to the world of colors!
While watching TV programs or watching pictures of the seabed, it appears at first sight that coral reefs are ordinary plants or unique type of colored rocks and the truth of the matter is that they are one of the types of animals that reproduce sexually or neither sexually until they form a branching and spaced out the colony and sometimes large coral gardens at great distances.
Coral also has species and groups. The coral environment is one of the richest natural environments that contain a very large diversity of living organisms. Coral plays an important role in marine ecological balance.
Did you know that an area of 1 meter of live coral provides 9 tons of fish annually every year in the region where it is located!
Where you can find coral …?
Are corals found all over the world …?
Coral live between 24-28°, so it is only found in warm tropical areas such as the Red Sea and the shores of Australia in the Great Reef Region and some of the Andalusian islands. The Red Sea is the richest in the world with fish wealth and the diversity of marine life due to the diversity of coral species in it while it is considered for example Raja Ampat Island in Indonesia is the richest region in the world in the coral, and 75% of the marine life types found in the world can be seen in Raja Ampat at the coral reef areas, while some countries have benefited from the presence of coral in its waters as natural wealth; for example, Egypt market diving as a product for tourists. They annually receive hundreds of thousands of tourists to dive and see coral and other Egyptian water fortunes such as sunken ships and others. On the other side on the Red Sea, there is a very rich spot in the coral in the Port Sudan region. It may not be less than the Raja Ampat area with something, but it is not being used by the authorities there.
How are coral reefs created?
The polyp, which is the animal, creates solid deposits – lime – on it and settles inside, and then an alga called Zozanthali. It comes and lives with its symbiotic life. Algae provide the coral with the food needed to survive, and corals give algae its extractive materials (phosphates – nitrates) so that it benefits from it and because the reefs need algae and algae need light – because they do photosynthesis – we find that the presence of coral reefs is limited to the luminous layers that sunlight reaches in abundance and there are a few species that live In low light, and the fact that coral needs light in most of its types, the opportunity is available and easy to see this beautiful object in its various colors and its endless diversity on the surface of the water, and within fun and easy sports programs such as practicing swimming with a cane, snorkeling or diving.
Do not hold up!! Let’s us see you in our next diving course by registering in the courses department
There are two types of hard and soft coral
Some reefs are considered meat-eaters that sting prey, paralyze it and then attract it into it
Did you know that some types of coral grow only 1 cm each year…!
Factors affecting coral reef survival
You need light for algae to build photosynthesis. The direct light in the event of a receding wave is harmful, as is the very low light, so you need light in moderate proportions. There are a few types that can live in depths such as the convex coral and lobe.
Transparency, fine particles, soil, and plankton negatively affect coral and affect light penetration
Upon graduation with depth, the coral penetration intensity will decrease until it is often nonexistent at a depth of 40 meters, except for a few species that can grow at this depth. Coral colors will disappear as they move away from the sunlight in the first ten meters on the seafloor
Storms and hurricanes bury colonies and strong currents in some seasons and certain areas sometimes attract other creatures and these creatures manage themselves with coral reefs.
Sediments are among the major threats to coral presence, adjacent building processes and soil stirring may pose a real threat when sediments cause turbidity of the water and impede the penetration of light necessary for coral life or when they settle on the coral and prevent them from breathing normally.
You can live between 30 to 42% salinity, so we cannot find it in fresh rivers, whatever other factors are appropriate to exist.
Natural damage to the coral
Sponge – crustaceans – mollusks – worms – spinal starfish (devouring corals)
How coral dies?
When the environmental factors become disturbed, coral bleaching increases and the algae migrate, carrying its joy and colors. This is considered death but temporary until the environmental conditions improve and the algae return to the coral.
Coral affected by humans and city waste
The traces of humans are the most painful messes of corals when vacationers walk on the beach and throw their waste that kills coral and spans decades spent by this creature in building its beautiful and attractive shape, and the irresponsible diver’s tamper that is driven by curiosity to touch coral reefs or move them from their place. Not to mention the diversion of sewage streams into seawater has caused the disappearance of tens of kilometers of coral gardens, factory waste and, more recently, forest fires in Indonesia caused killing corals in that region
You now know that coral is a living creature that breathes, eats, and breed.
Be nice to them and respect all God creatures, and enjoy the lovely nature.