Corals are composed of very thin plates, or layers, of calcium carbonate, secreted over the years with the aid of using loads of smooth-bodied animals referred to as coral polyps. Polyps variety in length from a pinhead to a foot in length. Coral reefs are one of the maximum biologically various ecosystems on earth, rivaled only with the aid of using tropical rain forests. They are made up not only of tough and smooth corals, however additionally sponges, crustaceans, mollusks, fish, sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, and plenty more. Let us learn about Food Web Coral Reef Ecosystem.
Food Web Coral Reef Ecosystem – Coral Reef Ecosystem
The health, abundance, and variety of the organisms that make up a coral reef are at once connected to the encompassing terrestrial and marine environments. Mangrove forests and seagrass beds are the most essential aspects of the coral reef ecosystem. Mangroves are salt-tolerant bushes that develop alongside tropical and sub-tropical coasts. Their complicated root structures assist stabilize the shoreline, even as filtering pollution and generating nutrients. Their submerged roots and detritus offer nursery, breeding, and feeding grounds for invertebrates, fish, birds, and different marine life. Many of these animals that grow up in mangroves migrate to coral reefs for food, spawning, and also for shelter.
Food Web Coral Reef Ecosystem – Seagrass
Seagrass is a flowering plant that usually forms grasslands between mangroves and coral reef habitats. They form the backbone of many food webs and provide nutrition for everything from sea urchins and snails to sea turtles and manatees such as rock crab, sea bass, and lobster. They also filter water bodies, prevent seabed erosion and release the oxygen required by most marine life. The ecosystem services of mangroves and algae are vital to the long-term health of coral reefs. Another very important element of the coral reef ecosystem is often overlooked: land. Pollutants, nutrients, and debris enter coastal waters through rivers, streams, underground leakage, sewage, and rainwater runoff. The coastline affects the purity and quality of the water flowing into the coral reef. No matter how far the pollutants look, everything will flow down the river, and everything will affect our marine environment and coral reefs.
Food Web of the Coral Reef Ecosystem
The food web is a diagram portraying the transfer of energy between species. Since energy is delivered in the form of food, the food web shows who is eating whom in the ecosystem. Unlike the spreading food chain, the food web is complex and spanned by many species.
The food web is structured into layers that are known as trophic levels. The lowest trophic level in the food web is the producer. Producers are the organisms that do not depend on anyone for food, they make their food. These are usually green plants, but not algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Primary consumers eat producers and turn them into herbivores; secondary consumers eat primary consumers, which makes them predators; tertiary consumers are the main predators of the ecosystem, with primary and secondary as their food.