Geography of Coral Reef and Kelp Forest Locations Worldwide
Climate & Physical Conditions Light Enough to support photosynthesis. Growing in surface water with depths ranging from a few meters to 100 meters. Temperature Needs Coral needs temperatures > 20 degrees C usually ranging from 23 to 25 degrees C. Kelp can grow in temperatures < 10 degrees C in the winter to rising above 20 degrees C in the summer months
Chemical Conditions Needed Oxygen is needed for both coral and kelp to grow. Salt Kelp can grow in areas that have less salinity although salt is still a necessity. Coral Reefs can only grow in areas where there is a stable salinity level. Anything below a level of 27% can be lethal. This can be caused by heavy rainfall or runoffs
Biology Coral reefs and kelp beds are the most productive and diverse of all ecological systems. There are over 600 different kinds of coral and over 2000 species of fish living in a newly formed reef. Over 100 species of worms and over 75 species of fish can live on 1 coral head. Kelp beds are estimated to home 800 species of animals and about 130 species of plants and other photosynthetic organisms.
Human Influences Kelp is harvested for food and fertilizer Coral reefs are harvested for decorations Coral reefs are also heavily fished for food and aquarium trades. Fish are now becoming rare. Destructive means of fishing using dynamite and poison