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Fun Science Projects & Experiments - Coral Reef Biomes

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Science Topics, Projects or Science Experiments: Grades 5 & 6

Coral Reef Biomes

Coral Reef Biomes
The tropical coral reefs are often called "the rainforests of the sea"; because of their incredible biodiversity. But what are corals really, and what makes these areas so important?
Coral Reef Ecosystem
All living things require energy to carry out life functions such as growth, movement, and reproduction. For nearly all ecosystems - diverse collections of species that interact with each other and their physical environment - the major source of energy is the sun. The flow of energy tends to follow the same basic pattern whether the ecosystem is a tropical rainforest or a coral reef.
To portray the transfer of energy through an ecosystem, ecologists use simple models called food chains. Organisms can be organized into different trophic levels, or positions in a food chain; organisms at higher trophic levels feed on those at lower levels.

Human impacts on coral reefs
Coral reefs are becoming unproductive just when we need them the most.
Reefs supply millions with food and other resources. This ecosystem is facing greater rates of disturbance because of our actions. Too much disturbance reduces the productivity, diversity and resilience of the coral reef ecosystem.
Preserving this ecosystem will rely largely on preserving the habitats and species of the coral reef ecosystem.
Coral Reef Conservation
Coral reef conservation field work by Dr. Stuart Sandin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, looking at human impacts on coral reef ecosystems in the Line Islands, which are located in the central Pacific Ocean, and working on conservation and management strategies.

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