EXPLORING. CORAL REEFS. by:. Phoebe Marie “Maripi” R. Reyes. Have you seen a coral reef?. It looks like a garden under the sea. . It lies some distance from the seashore just beneath the water. If you know how to swim, you can take a closer look using goggles.
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Phoebe Marie “Maripi” R. Reyes
It looks like a garden under the sea.
It lies some distance from the seashore just beneath the water.
If you know how to swim, you can take a closer look using goggles.
…invertebrates such as shrimps, starfish, sponges, shells
What can you see in a coral reef?
… and of course,CORALS!
They are organisms with parts that look like flowers of different colors.
Are they plants?
connects the polyp to another polyp
They feed on zooplankton (tiny drifting animals), small fishes, and fine organic debris.1
coiled venom-filled thread with a minute barb at its tip
bulbous double-walled microscopic stinging capsules
The polyp uses its stinging tentacles to paralyze and feed on zooplankton and small fishes.2
Are they animals?
1Sea World (1996). Diet and eating habits: Corals and coral reefs.
2Viles and Spencer in Russell, K. (2002). Human impacts on coral reefs.
Corals are animals which harbor photosynthetic algae. They grow only in the shallow, warm waters of the tropics where sunlight and a warm temperature are available.
They build skeletons of calcium carbonate at the rate of 1-10 cm a year. The skeletons are the nonliving part of the corals.
tentacles grow only in the shallow, warm waters of the tropics where sunlight and a warm temperature are available.
connects the polyp to another polyp
The living part is made up of the tiny coral polyps. They sit on cups at the surface of the reef or skeletons of calcium carbonate. The cups form a pattern that tells us the name of the coral.
A coral polyp begins its life as a tiny larva (as small as the size of the head of a pin!).
The flower-like parts that we see are tentacles.
A coral reproduces by budding (identical polyps sprout out of the polyp’s side)…
One it settles on a hard support, it will not move again.
… and by sexual reproduction (polyps release eggs and sperm, which unite in the water).
The soft body ranges from 1-3mm in diameter.
Source: EnchantedLearning.Com. (2004). Coral.
The nonliving skeleton is the habitat of a diversity of living organisms. The coral reef provides a home for many sea organisms such as:
Filipinos eat close to 1 million metric tons per year of fish and other seafoods.
One square kilometerof healthy coral reefs can produce15-30 metric tonsof fish every year. At the current state of our reefs, we produce barely5 to 7 metric tons per square kilometer every year.
Source: Tan, J.M.L. (2001). Food for thought. Sunday Inquirer Magazine. Manila: Philippine Daily Inquirer.
How come we are producing less than expected?
Our reefs are being destroyed by human activities such as: fish and other seafoods.
… dangerous fishing practices
… deforestation fish and other seafoods.
of upland forests
of mangrove areas
… heavy fertilizer use
What will happen if these activities continue?
What can we do to help save our coral reefs? fish and other seafoods.
Let us make a website!
Print stickers and donate proceeds to NGOs that help save coral reefs.
How about a newsletter?