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    Queen Victoria: Reigned: 1837-1901 [63 years and 7 months]

How does a coral reef form?

coral-reef-

A coral reef is an accumulation of the limestone skeletons of dead reef organisms and the algae that glues them together.

The coral reef builds upwards, growing towards the light much like trees in a rainforest, competing for space and light. Once the coral reef reaches sea level it cannot survive the harsh surface conditions so begins to grow outwards. Creating spectacular formations of coral that spawn further growth and spreading of the reef ecosystem.

Through time, animals grow and the sand, rubble and debris of life is broken down by waves and eroding animals, such as worms and sponges. A complex reef ecosystem is built over time. Today’s underwater gullies and caves were formed because of that erosion. These are the same formations scuba divers enjoy exploring today because they are shelters for an abundance of marine life.

Coral reefs tend to grow where there is a lot of water movement, bringing nutrients, oxygen and new species. Most reef-building corals cannot grow in waters shallow enough to expose them at high tide or deeper than 50 metres, making them highly sensitive to changing sea levels.

The Reef is continually evolving and changing as climate and sea levels change. Healthy, diverse reef ecosystems are more resilient, that is, they are able to adapt to change. 

Resource: http://blog.reefcharter.com/2010/03/how-does-a-coral-reef-form.html

Link about species of the coral reef: [copy and paste the link in your browser] http://blog.reefcharter.com/topic/species-of-the-reef



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