Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean

The Borneo Post. By Alan Rogers.

THE old adage, ‘out of sight, out of mind’, can be applied to coral reefs. We often shout loudly about the damage done to our terrestrial environments by deforestation, urbanisation and pollution, but we seldom appreciate that these factors ultimately affect the quality of marine life.

Increased run-off from the land leads to acceleration and accumulation of sediments on the seabed, while oceans are also absorbers of man-made atmospheric gases caused by pollution. All of these affect the potential for coral growth.

Vital to ocean ecosystems

Whilst coral reefs make up less than 0.2 per cent of the ocean environment, they support 25 per cent of marine species in a complex ecosystem living in tropical waters of between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Although corals can be found in deep water, most are located up to a depth of 25 metres, thriving on sunlight and are located between 40 degrees north and south of the Equator. Some species grow in temperate waters.

Read the full article, which includes the location of keys reefs, their ecosystems and the danger they face, by clicking here:

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