For those who cares about the ocean, one of the main goals is to contribute in keeping the coral reef system healthy. After all, it is an ecosystem that can determine the life and death of the ocean. So many marine animals and plants depend on the coral reef. The ecosystem is complex enough to provide many benefits for them.
But just how much does the coral reef ecosystem mean to the marine creatures and also humans? The answers lie in these 15 Importance of Structural Complexity in Coral Reef Ecosystem. You will soon realise that coral reef ecosystem will forever be important.
1. Bringing In Tourists
Tourists are always eager to visit the ocean, especially when there are coral reefs. Their complicated structures are intriguing and interesting for them to discover. The colourful and diverse creatures inside the ecosystem can educate the importance of the ocean to the tourists. Not only will they bring in money, they will also leave with more awareness about the ocean.
2. Protecting the Shorelines from Waves
Due to the constant movement of the waves in the ocean, shorelines are always vulnerable to erosions. As more and more sands are taken away by them, the shape of the shorelines may change. Some damage may happen which are explained in the effects of ocean waves on shorelines. But with how the coral reef is structured, it can act as a barrier. Thus, less destruction will occur.
3. Protecting Marine Species
Marine species use the coral reef ecosystem to protect themselves. The complex built of the the corals will allow their habitat to be safe. Predators will find it hard to come after them. There will also less chance for strong ocean currents to pose as a threat for them. The marine species have a place where they are secure.
4. Supporting the Growth of Different Types of Corals
The coral reef ecosystem supports the growth of other corals. Together, they make the reef structure to become even more complicated. The staghorn and the elkhorn corals are particularly crucial. They are suit the needs of the species living inside the ecosystem.
5. Helping Juveniles Grow
Juveniles are vulnerable to predators too. Extreme conditions of the ocean currents will weaken and kill them. The juveniles can have shelter inside the coral reef. Healthy amount of juveniles will grow up and add to the population number of their species.
6. Reducing Damage from Storms
Storms often happen near the coastlines but that does not mean that the impact will not be severe. When storms are closer to the coastlines, they may cause severe damage. The more structurally complex a coral reef system is, the stronger they can withstand the storms. High waves coming into the land will be broken down by the corals to make them weaker.
7. Improving Biodiversity
Biodiversity simply means how varying the species are that live inside the marine ecosystem. It also includes the environment and the habitat of the species. Coral reef with complex structures can improve the biodiversity of the ocean. This will give positive impacts to humans as well as the marine ecosystem.
8. Providing Stable Ecosystem
This one is related to biodiversity. Complex coral reef will be able to provide a more stable ecosystem due to the high level of biodiversity. Species can live without facing any serious harm. The reef will become healthier and dangerous algal blooms will have less chance to form.
9. Increasing Fish Population
Studies have shown that within the complexity of the coral reef ecosystem, fish population is able to thrive. Their amount continues to increase significantly. Due to the coral reefs, the fish can move themselves away from predators. Other than that, as the reef is also huge, the competition is less severe. The fish are able to find their own food in different parts of the corals.
10. Providing Supply to Fish Industries
The fish industries are important to humans. They provide jobs but more importantly, they provide food. Many regions depend on fisheries just so they can stay alive. Thankfully, due to the coral reefs structure, there will always be a good supply of marine species to consume. Nonetheless, what will always be needed to focus on by humans is stable fisheries.
11. Contributes to the Composition of the Ocean
The ocean will not be able to function without the complex coral reef ecosystem. It contributes to the composition of the ocean that should never be messed around with. A healthy and adequate amount of coral reefs in the ocean will make the ecosystem healthy. This will in turn helps in controlling the climate that will affect every living thing on Earth.
Read more: Main Elements in Ocean Water
12. Serves as Barrier to Wetlands
The coral reef also serves as a barrier to wetlands too. Salt marsh and mangrove trees are some wetlands that are important to the marine ecosystem. For instance, the salt marsh can hold sediments from entering the oceans. The structure of the coral reef can prevent all of that from happening. It will also protect the wetlands from destructions.
13. Prevents Excess Nutrients
Most of the time, excess nutrients may come in contact with the ocean water. The coral reef structure can prevent this from happening especially if the structure is a complex one. As mentioned before, a complex coral reef indicates a healthier ecosystem. So the reef can heavily absorb the nutrients to prevent harming the entire ocean water.
14. Maintains Sediment Deposit
The coral reef can also from carbonate sand along with mud that are useful for the vegetations in the oceans. The sea grasses inside the ocean can use those materials to become stronger. They will be able to hold the sediment on the ocean floor better. This will reduce loss of sediment that can damage the floor.
Read more: Importance of Marine Grass
15. Gives Habitat to Marine Plants
Marine plants are not left out from receiving the benefit of a complex coral reef structure. Living among the corals, the plants are able to grow better as well. This will provide a positive interactions to the marine animals. They can also feed on the marine plants. As a whole, the ecosystem functions in a great way.
Without the structural complexity of the coral reef system, we may not have an abundance of marine creatures living in the ocean. We shall always appreciate its beauty and its gift for maintaining the marine lives and habitat.