As near-shore coral reefs become increasingly degraded, coral reefs on the high seas will provide critical refuges for marine life that depend on these ecosystems, while helping to “reseed” degraded coral populations closer to shores. Branching coral species are particularly important for creating three-dimensional habitat where a variety of life can exploit this complex niche. Coral reefs are vital for a healthy ecosystem. Our experts can answer your tough homework and study questions. Though they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs support an estimated 25 percent of all marine life. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent ecosystems. About 25% of the ocean's fish depend on healthy coral reefs. In places like National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, weâre seeing bleaching events transform reefs in just a few months. In 1994 the Bahía Culebra reef in Costa Rica suffered mass destruction after the reef was severely burned due to leftover sediment from the construction of a tourist centre. Yet reefs are destroyed in an instant to make souvenirs for tourists. Why is that important? Coral reefs are found underwater and consist of skeletons of coral. This is known as bleaching -- because those algae are what give corals their bright colors. C overing less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs support an estimated 25 percent of all known marine species. Healthy coral reefs are constantly growing. An estimated 25 percent of all marine life, including over 4,000 species of fish, are dependent on coral reefs at some point in their life cycle. The Great Barrier Reef is undisputed as one of the world’s most important natural assets. How are Cuba's coral reefs different from other... How are oil and gas platforms similar to coral... How are the Cays Keys related to coral reefs? Scientists estimate that there may be millions of undiscovered species of organisms living in and around reefs. Coral reefs teem with life, covering less than one percent of the ocean floor, but supporting about 25 percent of all marine creatures. How are coral reefs protected and monitored? They extract calcium carbonate which allows them to have a hard outer "shell" to protect their soft bodies. Coral reefs nurture about 25 percent of marine life and support local economies worldwide. They teem with life, with perhaps one-quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. Aside from the hundreds of species of coral, reefs support extraordinary biodiversity and are home to a multitude of different types of fish, invertebrates and sea mammals. Coral reefs teem with life, covering less than one percent of the ocean floor, but supporting about 25 percent of all marine creatures. These ancient structures make a perfect home for millions of species of fish, crabs, clams, starfish, squid, sponges, lobsters, seahorses, sea turtles, and more. The sunlight is important because it nurtures the algae which is food for the coral. By restoring corals at seven iconic reef sites in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, we can change the trajectory of an entire ecosystem and help save one of the world’s most unique areas for future generations. Scientists believe there are still millions of species that have yet to be discovered. Covering less than one percent of the ocean floor, reefs support an estimated twenty-five percent of all marine life, with over 4,000 species of fish alone. Hidden beneath the ocean waters, coral reefs teem with life. As you float in the other direction, you spot giant sea fans dotting the underwater landscape and branching corals beckoning towards you, as though inviting you to join them. Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. Coral reefs are believed by many to have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet—even more than a tropical rainforest. Coral reefs also provide shelter for a wide variety of marine life, humans with recreation, a valuable resource of organisms for potential medicines, create sands … It should really be named ‘Great Barrier of Reefs’, as it is not one long solid structure but made up of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and 1,000 islands. An estimated 4,000 fish species, and some 25 percent of marine life, depend on coral reefs at some point in their existence. The tiny crevices created by coral reefs are significant nurseries for juveniles species, and a healthy balanced reef supports the teeniest critter… Coral reefs support 25% of life in the ocean -- but they need our help. About 25% of the ocean's fish depend on healthy coral reefs. Coral reefs are the ocean’s most diverse and complex ecosystems, supporting 25% of all marine life, including 800 species of reef-building corals and more than one million animal and plant species. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree, Get access to this video and our entire Q&A library. Because of the diversity of life found in the habitats created by corals, reefs are often called the "rainforests of the sea."