• Question: If the coral dies then what will happen to the ocean and the animals in it?

    Asked by davieshobo9 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi Davies,
      Coral dying can be an early warning sign of problems like temperature change that are bad for the ocean and other animals. Coral itself provides a home for fish to breed, and for algae to form which is food for other fish. If all the coral died then some types of fish would probably die, and their place would be taken over by other fish that didn’t need coral to survive.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hey davies! Coral reefs are like indicators of bad things happening in the environment…it would be pretty catastrophic if they died for the sea ecosystem as we know it. For a news story on this topic check out this..http://edition.cnn.com/2007/BUSINESS/12/10/reefs.canaries/

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Coral is the life support for the ocean… and what I mean by this is that many small sea creature rely on the coral for food, shelter and other things. With out the smallest of sea creatures the bigger creatures wudn;t have anything to eat! SO.. basically coral starts off the food chain without the rest would perrish… As drew says lack of coral is a sign of an unhappy sea 🙁

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hello Davies!

      Corals are the foundations of the ecosystems they inhabit – remove them and the entire ecosystem falls out of balance with potentially devastating consequences for all species involved. Corals are early warning signs of changing environment since they are more sensitive than most species. But, since most species are dependent upon them – at least in coral ecosystems, many species can be devastated by coral loss. A good analogy is tree loss in the rain forest. We only go in and cut the trees out, but EVERY species suffers due to loss of habitat. The same is true for coral reefs.

      However, loosing the coral reefs will not directly effect all ocean species. Just the ones that depend directly on them. However, the things that cause coral reefs to disappear – increasing ocean temperatures, pollution, etc. can be detrimental to these other species as well. So it is best we monitor the corals closely and try to keep them healthy and happy! That will benefit our entire ocean =)