Coral Reefs - Part 1 Ecological Features

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  • Ecological features of coral reefs
    • Polyps
      • Coral reefs are built over a long time by a kind of coral called polyps which live on small cups of limestone they secrete. 
      • The limestone deposits are built up by successive generations of polyps, forming the reef.
      • Polyps have a symbiotic relationship with a type of algae that lives inside of them and produces sugars.
      • They also give coral their colour.
    • Abiotic conditions required
      • A hard substrate for polyps to attach to
      • Stable salinity (salt levels)
      • Low turbidity - The polyps are very fragile and high turbidity would damage them as well as block sunlight from the algae
      •  Bright sunlight for algae to  photosynthesise
      •  Warm, stable temperatures (25 – 29ºC)


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