Live fast, die young: Study shows tiny fishes fuel coral reefs

Scientists have long sought to understand how coral reefs support such an abundance of fish life despite their location in nutrient-poor waters. According to a new study published May 23 in the journal Science, an unlikely ...

Deep diving scientists discover bubbling CO2 hotspot

Diving 200 feet under the ocean surface to conduct scientific research can lead to some interesting places. For University of Texas at Austin Professor Bayani Cardenas, it placed him in the middle of a champagne-like environment ...

Large 'herbivores of the sea' help keep coral reefs healthy

Selective fishing can disrupt the delicate balance maintained between corals and algae in embattled Caribbean coral reefs. Removing large parrotfish, which graze on algae like large land mammals graze on grasses, can allow ...

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Coral reef

Coral reefs are aragonite structures produced by living organisms, found in marine waters containing few nutrients. In most reefs, the predominant organisms are stony corals, colonial cnidarians that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and bioeroders, produces a calcareous formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life.

Coral reefs most commonly live in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water corals exist on a much smaller scale.

Globally, coral reefs are under threat from climate change, ocean acidification, overuse of reef resources, and harmful land-use practices. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm reefs by encouraging excess algae growth.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA