Environmental Studies on Coral Reefs

Words: 1071
Topic: Environment
Updated:

The current research has revealed that both the New Caledonia Barrier Reef (CCBR) and the Red Sea Coral Reef (RSCR) are among the principal coral reefs. For instance, sources indicate that CCR harbors the second greatest barrier reef. The total average size of CCBR is approximately 1,500 kilometers (Darwin, 2010). This barrier possesses a significant biogeography interest.

Moreover, for a considerable period, it has acted as the south pacific’s endemism regional center. Discoveries in this barrier have established new fish species, as well as invertebrates. For example, it provides the chief nesting site for Chelonian mydas.

The barrier also houses myriad rare species of crab, and several species of endemic mollusk (Shephard, 2002). Therefore, this document discusses the salient similarities, as well as differences between the above-discussed marine ecosystems. In addition, the document highlights an example of a plant or animal species dominating that specific marine ecosystem.

The Chelonia mydas, initially known as the Green Sea Turtle (GST), is a chelonian animal. This implies that it has four legs together with a two-part tough shell joining the sides. In addition, it possesses strong and horny mouths, which are teeth less. Recent research shows the presence of three sorts of chelonians among the tortoise species (Harewood, 2010).

For instance, there are those that can comfortably survive on dry land, while others are adapted to freshwaters, and finally, those that survive in seas.

In general, a scientist classifies the chelonian mydas as reptiles. Furthermore, their heads take the shape of those for lizards. They have hooked beaks, as well as toothless jaws. Research has it that mature Chelonia mydas measures 99 centimeters in length. In addition, its weight measures approximately 180 kilograms.

Information on recent research and discoveries has it that the GST dominates the main oceans, such as the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic oceans. They survive in extreme squat conditions that form warm temperatures in preference to hot, as well as cold parts of the sea.

They rarely come out of the waters, although the females visit shores, during reproduction (Shephard, 2002). The GST feeds on seaweed and the sea algae. They also feed on other sea creatures such as jellyfish and crayfish.

Current research provides that, the movements of GST are only swift in the sea, while on the land, they depict slow and defenseless movements. The females can only leave the ocean during the reproduction epoch. Their eggs hatch in two months’ time, after which their young one’s head for the ocean.

Concisely, the current research reveals that the GST has become an endangered species, thus the elimination of its population in some areas despite their abundance in specific areas (Harewood, 2010). Most importantly, they are exploited for meat, their hides, as well as eggs. In addition, they suffer from the nature of nesting, which enhances their predictability.

The RSCR dominates the northernmost part of the Indian oceanic basin. In the red sea, reef systems supported by an all-embracing shallow submarine. This forms the dominant coral reef found in the region. The reef entails myriad features, which portrays the nature of the reef. For instance, such reefs have towering tolerance of the extreme conditions in the regions.

The region experiences high temperatures, salinity, as well as turbidity, which occasionally occur (Harewood, 2010). Significantly, the main plant species in the red sea entails the marine algae, as well as the mangroves. The marine algae form the most variety of plant species in the sea. Some varieties of marine algae are vital for the coral’s survival, as well as the coral reefs’ development.

The marine algae commonly exist in areas, which experience the growth of hard corals. The algae mostly exist as tiny microalgae. In extreme conditions, the presence of microalgae, this occurs at relatively insignificant percentages. In exception, the presence of coralline algae, this occurs in considerable amounts.

This form of algae helps in the development of coral reefs. In addition, it represents a prominent ridge of oceanic reefs. Furthermore, they represent the largest link in the coral reef feeding levels.

In the RSCR, seagrasses are also another significant component, which serves ecological purposes. These grasses serve as food for myriad animal species that live in the sea. Their distribution mainly dominates the lagoon waters. In these areas, they form a productive, as well as often extensive habitat.

This habitat supports a variety of the animal as well as plant life (Darwin, 2010). Mangroves species are also dominant plant species along the coastal regions of the RSCR. These types of trees characterize a high salt tolerance as well as their adaptation to anaerobic sediments. Significantly, they are able to tolerate the salinity conditions as well as the anaerobic sediments that dictate the RSCR marine ecosystem.

The CCBR and the RSCR marine life differ considerably in their features as well as their conditions. The presence of outlets such as rivers that drains out the waters from the CCBR accounts for the less accumulation of salts. In contrast, the absence of such outlets in the RSCR accounts for the skyrocketed salinity. For instance, the CCBR characterizes low saline waters and less extreme temperatures.

Consequently, this translates to the dominance of the animal species over the plant species. This type of marine ecosystem mainly comprises myriad animals due to the conducive environment. In contrast, the RSCR entails extreme conditions of temperature as well as salinity. These conditions do not support animal life; thus, the dominance of plants population over the animal population.

However, the plants that grow in the RSCR must have distinctive adaptations in order to survive the extreme conditions. For instance, some species have high water absorption, which helps to neutralize the excess salts. In addition, presences of outlets form an essential feature that prevents the accumulation of salts. Therefore, the lack of outlets the red sea accounts for the sky-scraping salinity rate.

In conclusion, this document has distinctively provided the comparison, as well as the contrast between the two marine ecosystems. It perceptible that the RSCR marine ecosystem lacks outlets a factor that translates to its extreme conditions.

This special feature also translates to the dominance of plants over the animal species. In contrast, the presence of outlets in the CCBR marine ecosystem facilitates the dominance of animals over the plant species. Significantly, plant species have special features that enable them to adapt to these extreme conditions. The document lists such features as high tolerance to salts and the anaerobic sediments.

References

Darwin, C. (2010). Coral reefs. Horcott, MN: The Echo library publishers.

Harewood, J. (2009). Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Footscray, VR: lonely planet pty ltd publishers

Shephard, C. (2002). Coral reefs. Stillwater, MN: Library of Congress publishers.