Exam 1 - Coral Reefs Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Exam 1 - Coral Reefs Deck (11):

What is zooxanthellae?

algae that lives symbiotically in the gastrodermis of corals and provides nutrients for the coral through photosynthesis, makes it possible for corals to grow and reproduce.


Where are coral reefs found?

in tropical waters between 30 deg N and 30 deg S.


What is the coral reef environment like?

bright sunlight, limited turbidity, warm water, normal-hypersaline water, moderate wave action and surface currents.


Where will a coral reef be unable to develop?

where there is a strong influx of sediment or fresh water.


What is the structure of coral reefs?

built on bedrock platforms, rigid masses of CaCO3, build upward, normally within 2-10 m of ocean surface, mound/ridge/ring shaped, fragile coral grows in reef interior.


What did Charles Darwin discover about reefs?

studied Pacific and Indian Ocean reefs, discovered the 3 basic types and how each type evolved.


Fringing reef

forms along shoreline of most new tropical islands, produces sexually with planktonic larvae, needs to attach to a solid surface.


Barrier reef

forms as an island begins to sink, upward growth creates a lagoon between top of reef and sinking island, lagoon is a haven for protection from waves and storms.


Atoll reef

island sinks below surface and reef continues to grow upward, usually oval with some breaks, eroded reef material creates a cay.


What is a cay?

an island formed from eroded reef material from atoll reefs and is either stable enough for buildings or moves around a lot and is unstable.


What is the ecology of coral reefs?

colonial corals, symbiotic algae, snails and clams, echinoderms, fish, bacteria, and other early decomposers.