In each ecosystem there are species who have a larger impact on the ecosystem than other species. They are called keystone species. In coral reefs, as the name suggests, corals are the keystone species. Stony corals, the corals that make calcium carbonate skeletons, are at the basis of reef structures.

Why is coral so important?

Coral reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation. They are also are a source of food and new medicines. Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection.

What is the keystone species of the coral reef?

Parrotfish are a keystone species, providing critical functions in a coral reef ecosystem. By consuming algae from reefs, parrotfish limit its cover and create space for coral settlement and growth.

Why are corals describes as a keystone or important species in this video?

Answer and Explanation: Coral is a keystone species because it is a foundation species and ecosystem engineer. Corals are made of coral polyps, small animals that live in… See full answer below.

Why is coral considered an indicator species?

Coral reefs are environmental indicators of water quality because they can only tolerate narrow ranges of temperature, salinity, water clarity, and other water conditions.

Why are coral very important to marine life?

Coral reefs provide an important ecosystem for life underwater, protect coastal areas by reducing the power of waves hitting the coast, and provide a crucial source of income for millions of people. Coral reefs teem with diverse life. Thousands of species can be found living on one reef.

What would happen if there were no coral reefs?

Coral reefs are known as “the rainforests of the sea” and provide a quarter of marine species with habitat and food. If coral reefs disappeared, essential food, shelter and spawning grounds for fish and other marine organisms would cease to exist, and biodiversity would greatly suffer as a consequence.

What is a keystone species?

A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem. Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.

Why are coral reefs a foundation species?

Corals are a key example of a foundation species across many islands in the South Pacific Ocean. These tiny animals grow as a colony of thousands and even millions of individual polyps. The rocky outer layers of these polyps create enormous structures around islands: coral reefs.

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