The Coral Reef Food Web And The Formation Of Connections Between Marine Animals

A coral reef food web is composed from the various relationships between producers and consumers (creatures that either produce energy or acquire it through the consumption of other creatures), and is vital to the survival of the marine species that thrive in that particular ecosystem.

Food webs often depend on the connections that the marine creatures in question form with each other, as well as with predators and other animals that are only visitors in the ecosystem in question. Understanding these vital connections can lead us to making more mindful decisions in issues such as overfishing and destructive fishing practices that can sometimes remove entire food webs and bring many species close to extinction.

How Connections Evolve Over Time

Coral reef food web connections form over time, as the coral reef grows and attracts a wider variety of species from other ecosystems, or allows for the growth of new species. This process often occurs over thousands of years, as certain events, such as the arrival of new species or the extinction of others either force some marine creatures to adapt and evolve, or change their place on the food chain, turning them, for instance, from secondary to main predators.

Predators generally kill their pray in order to feed and obtain their energy, however, many predators and parasites have also evolved to coexist with their prey and even feed off them over time.

Competition is also one of the main connections between marine life species that can evolve over time and lead sometimes to unexpected results. Lower food supplies, for example, may cause some creatures to use their specific traits more efficiently in order to survive, as opposed to others.

Finally, some organisms and creatures have evolved various strategies for survival, sometimes even forming partnerships with members of other species.

Human Involvement And The Coral Reef Food Web

Human involvement has led to fast paced changes in many coral food webs around the world, causing the diminishing of population, bleaching of entire formations of coral reefs or even leading to the extinction of certain creatures whose connections have already led them to a fragile balance on the food web.

By changing many of the activities and actions that harm coral reefs – such as overfishing, pollution, construction and expanded tourism in areas that are already somewhat unbalanced – and making more conscious decisions when it comes to our involvement in the life of the sea creatures living in these ecosystems, we can easily obtain the resources we need from nature without endangering the coral reef food web or causing chains of events that would lead to endangering certain species and bringing them to the brink of extinction.