CORAL REEF –
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE CORAL REEF BIOME?
Coral reefs are found internationally in warm waters.
Types of Corals: There are two types of coral, hard coral and soft coral. Hard corals (similar brain coral and elkhorn coral) have hard, limestone skeletons, which form the basis of coral reefs. Soft corals (like sea fingers and sea whips) do not build reefs. Corals cannot stand temperatures that drop below their average of 18°C. As a result, this restricts their habitat to waters between 23°N and 23°S latitude. As well as latitude, current is important. An example would be in Florida, the last reefs finish around Miami even though specific coral species can be located in the Coralinas. It is also true in Australia, as the last reefs are just north of Fraser Island while a few scattered species can be located in South Sydney.
Coral reefs progress in shallow, warm water, normally near land, and mainly in the tropics; coral prefer temperatures between 70 and 85 ° F (21 - 30 °C). There are coral reefs off the eastern coast of Africa, off the southern coast of India, in the Red Sea, and off the coasts of northeast and northwest Australia and on to Polynesia. There are also coral reefs off the coast of Florida, USA, to the Caribbean, and down to Brazil.
The Great Barrier Reef (off the coast of NE Australia) is the largest coral reef in the world. It is over 1,257 miles (2000 km) long.
Types of Reefs: The different types of reefs include:
Fringing reefs are reefs that form along a coastline. They grow on the continental shelf in shallow water.
Barrier reefs grow parallel to shorelines, but farther out, normally split from the land by a deep lagoon. They are called barrier reefs because they form a barrier between the lagoon and the seas, impeding navigation.
Coral Atolls are rings of coral that grow on top of old, cadaverous volcanoes in the ocean. They start off as fringe reefs encircling a volcanic island; then, as the volcano sinks,...