What Is Coral Reefs? Different Types Of Coral Reefs

Today we are going to talk about Coral Reef. Coral reefs are known as underwater ecosystems and are characterized by reef-building corals. The rocks are formed by coral reef colonies held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are formed by stony corals and have clusters of polyps in groups. So let's gather a little more information about Coral Reef.

Unlike marine anemones, corals support and protect the coral reef through hard carbonate exoskeleton secretion. Most coral reefs are found in shallow, warm, clear, sunny and turbulent waters. This species first appeared 485 million years ago in the early Ordovician, displacing the Cambrian microbes and sponge reefs in the coral reef.

Shallow coral reefs make up some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Coral Reef occupies less than 0.1% of the world's ocean area. This species thrives in sea water and provides few nutrients. Deep water and cold water corals exist on small scales in other areas.

Coral Reef provides ecosystem services for fishing, tourism and coastal protection. This species is very fragile as coral reefs are sensitive to water conditions. Coral Reef is at risk from harmful land-use practices including excess nutrients, rising temperatures, sunscreen use, marine acidification, overfishing and run-off.

Coral Reef Ecosystem

The coral reef is a very complex food web found in the ecosystem and includes a wide range of marine species that interact with each other and with the physical environment. Coral reefs are often referred to as 'rainforests of the sea'.

Coral reefs are found to support about 250,000 known marine species in the world and those species include 4,000 fish species, 700 coral species and thousands of others. Marine flora and fauna Coral reef oils provide such a wide variety of flora and fauna and also help maintain a functional ecological balance between different predators and prey species.

Types of Coral

1. Atoll

This type of coral is known as a continuous obstructed reef. Atoll Coral Reef extends around lagoon without a central island. Atoll is usually formed from the fringing reef around the volcanic islands. Atolls can also be formed by this species from submergence. Atoll's result ring closes the lagoon. This type of coral reef can be found in large numbers in the South Pacific. Atoll usually occurs in the Mediterranean. This type of species is also found in the Indian Ocean

2. Fringing Reef

This type of coral reef is also called shore reef. The fringing reef is attached directly to the edge. Fringing Reef is the most common reef type. This type of reef follows the coast and extends for many kilometers. Fringing reefs are usually less than 100 meters wide. This type of reef initially forms a shoreline at low water levels and extends the coastal strip as the Fringing Reef grows larger in size.

The surface of this type of reef is usually at the same height. This reef lagoon can be more than 100 meters wide and several meters deep. The Fringing Reefs of the Red Sea are considered to be some of the best developed reefs in the world. And Fringing Reef occurs on all shores except sandy bay.

3. Barrier Reef

Barrier reefs are separated from the mainland or island coast. The barrier reef is similar to the later stages of the fringing reef with its lagoon but the barrier reef differs mainly in size and origin from the latter. The lagoon of Barrier Reef can be many kilometers wide and 30 to 70 meters wide.

Barrier reef forms in open water instead of the edge of the offshore outer reef. These types of reefs take significantly longer to form than fringing reefs. Barrier reefs are very rare. The best known and largest example of this type of reef is the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

4. Platform Reef

This type of reef is variously called a bank or table reef. Platform reef forms on the shelf of continents and in the open sea. Wherever the marine rock rises near the surface of the ocean it enables the growth of zooxanthellae and forms a platform reef. This type of reef is found in the Southern Great on the continents at a distance of about 100-200 km from the coast.

Platform reefs vary in size. The general shape of the platform reef extends from the oval. A lagoon forms in the center of this type of reef. This species can be found in atolls. Platform reefs can only reach several dozen meters in diameter. Platform reef can make linear alignment.

5. Other Reef Types Or Variants

- Bank reef
- Ribbon reef
- Habili
- Patch reef
- Apron reef

Coral Reef

Coral Reef

Coral Reef Plants

This type of species includes photosynthetic organisms such as algae, phytoplankton, cyanobacteria and sea grass in the autotrophs of the ecosystem. A variety of small biota and plankton also serve as food for large fish that live in coral reefs.

Algae are the most abundant and diverse group found in the Coral Reef. Excessive growth of algae due to pollution of harmful chemicals significantly reduces the availability of oxygen to other organisms living in coral reefs in the ecosystem. Other species that also benefit from this type of reef are seagrass meadows.

Different types of seagrass live in and around shallow reefs. The coral reef serves as a nursery ground for many commercially valuable rock fish and juvenile invertebrate animals, various visiting marine vertebrates.

A species called mangrove reef greatly enhances the abundance and diversity of fish and together with sea grass helps to increase the productivity of this coral reef ecosystem.

Importance of Coral Reef

Coral reefs are found to provide an important ecosystem for underwater life of the ocean. In addition, the Coral Reef protects coastal areas by reducing the power of the waves spreading along the coast and provides a crucial source of income for millions of people. This type of species is associated with a variety of life in the ocean. On a coral reef you can find thousands of marine species alive.

Coral Reef Animals

Coral reefs are home to octopuses, giant clams and common reef sea anemones, sponges, sea turtles and other marine fauna. The fauna diversity around all types of reefs also depends significantly on the time of day as some species rely on rocks during the day while others rely on rocks at night. Indigenous animals such as sea urchins and sea snails also play important roles in this reef ecosystem. Scientists estimate that the world's coral reef alone is home to more than 4,000 species of fish and that the species of fish that live there are very diverse in color, shape and behavior.


At present, greenhouse gas emissions pose a widespread risk due to rising sea levels and coral reefs. And due to which coral reefs adapt their calcifying liquids to changes in the pH and carbonate levels of seawater. Volcanic and man-made aerosol pollution can be dangerous for regional sea surface temperatures and the formation of coral reefs.

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