biology exam 5 - A Why shallow water coral reef systems so productive and can support such a large amount of fish species Shallow water coral reefs are

biology exam 5 - A Why shallow water coral reef systems so...

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A.Why shallow water coral reef systems so productive and can support such a large amount of fish species? Shallow water coral reefs are productive and can support large amounts of fish because of the high levels of symbiotic algae production in reef-building corals and allied invertebrates such as soft corals, sea anemones, and benthic algae. The algae in shallow coral reefs account for 50-70% of the total amount of production on majority of the reefs. Coral reefs only occur in shallow,tropical waters, because hydra, the living organisms living in the coral, need warmth and algae need sunlight.Fish feed on the algae to prevent them from overpopulating, which would prevent coral growth. Fish also come to reefs for shelter from larger predator and some species of fish make the coral reefs their home. The major source of energy for aquatic environments is sunlight, the presence of plants, algae and bacteria capable of capturing that energy is the critical element that allows the development of the ecosystems with which we are familiar with. These organisms are the primary source of energy and most nutrients for every other organism within the ecosystem. For this reason plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria are termedprimary producers, because they produce the organic material necessary to support the rest of the ecosystem.B.Why would you expect the coral reef fish communities to differ between the two locations?The reefs around Bonaire are all of the fringing type, that is, they line the coast like a narrow fringe or ribbon. In fact it would be more accurate to say that Bonaire is surrounded by one almost continuous fringing reef. The fringing reef of Bonaire is not separated from shore by a lagoon area as is common for fringing reefs. In many places the reef starts right at the shoreline, almost immediately below the water surface. The wide sand shelf, reef ledge, wall, and occasional rocky structures such as jetties and breakwaters provide a wide variety of habitats for reef fish species. In West Palm Beach there are patch reefs. Patch reefsare small, isolated reefs that grow up from the open bottom of the island platform or continental shelf. They usually occur

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