According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, coral reefs are one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. Reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine environment.
Coral reefs support approximately 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists estimate that there are possibly one to eight million undiscovered species of organisms that live in and around coral reefs.
A number of drugs are developed from coral reef plants and animals as potential cures for cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, viruses and other diseases. Coral reefs act as a buffer to protect shorelines from wave action, erosion, property damage and loss of life.Learn More
An environment generally refers to the surroundings of various living residents, while an ecosystem is a community consisting of both living and non-living things that work together. In general, an ecosystem is defined by its environment, and all organisms within the ecosystem must work in tandem to create a successful living space.Full Answer >
An ecosystem is made up of biotic and abiotic components which include plants, animals and the environment in which they are found. The living or biotic components are made up of producers, consumers and decomposers. Some of the non-living or abiotic components include sunlight, temperature, water and soil.Full Answer >
Ecological balance is a stable state between all plants and animals in an ecosystem, and destabilization of the stable state is ecological imbalance. When plants and animals share a particular habitat, balance must be maintained for the benefit of all organisms.Full Answer >
In addition to overtaking and replacing native plants in an ecosystem, kudzu can alter the nitrogen balance of the soil and release dangerous ozone into the atmosphere. The vines also release volatile organic compounds into the air that can exacerbate smog when combined with other particulate pollutants. Kudzu's root systems can also drain an ecosystem of available water, leaving the few plants that survive its presence parched and dying.Full Answer >