article_coralreefs.docx - Coral reefs are structures made of the skeletons of invertebrate animals that have used calcium carbonate from the water to

article_coralreefs.docx - Coral reefs are structures made...

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Coral reefs are structures made of the skeletons of invertebrate animals that have used calcium carbonate from the water to make a protective exoskeleton. As more of these animals add on to the exoskeleton structure, the individual coral and the reefs steadily grow. Considering coral is composed of many small species that need food, a symbiotic relationship was formed with a certain type of algae in exchange for protection. Coral Reefs are beautiful, diverse marine ecosystems that host a large amount of marine biodiversity. These reefs are a place where marine life can procreate, feed, and be protected. Reefs also provide food, coastal protection, and economic boosts to local populations. An example showing economic benefit is the Belize Barrier Reef where the reef contributes to approximately 30% of the nation’s gross domestic product through the tourism it attracts, the provision of commercial fisheries products, and private sector investments in aquaculture and coastal development (Cho 2005). Despite how important coral reefs are in different aspects, they are being threatened by human acts.
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