Coral reefs are important ocean habitats and offer a compelling case of the risks of climate change.Reefs provide a large fraction of Earth’s biodiversity—they have been called “the rain forests of the seas.” Scientists estimate that 25 percent of all marine species live in and around coral reefs, making them one of the most diverse habitats in the world. Fisheries depend on coral reefs to provide seafood, an important source of protein and nutrition for most of the world’s population. Scientists develop important drugs from coral reef organisms as treatments for cancer, arthritis, and viruses. From the Great Barrier Reef to the Caribbean’s treasures, they are an integral part of ocean life.. Tourism of coral reefs is also a major economic contributor to several developing countries. Unlike other marine ecosystems, coral reefs support more species per unit area, including about 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals, and hundreds of other marine life. Scientists estimate that coral reefs host more than a quarter of all marine life. Approximately half a billion people globally depend on coral reef ecosystems for food, coastal protection, and income from tourism and fisheries. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Why are the coral reefs important? Why are Coral Reefs Important? Healthy coral reefs contribute to fishing and tourism, providing millions of jobs and contributing to economies all over the world. For example, they The importance of coral reefs: 5 reasons why we need to protect these delicate ecosystems 1. Coral polyps, the animals primarily responsible for building reefs, can take many forms: large reef building colonies, graceful flowing fans, and even small, solitary organisms.Thousands of species of corals have been discovered; some live in warm, shallow, tropical seas and others in the cold, dark depths of the ocean. They cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean’s floor, but more than one million species of fish, invertebrates, and algae can be found in and around the world’s reefs. Coral reefs are considered to be one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. The importance of coral reefs hinges on their biodiversity. Coral Reefs: Ecosystems of Environmental and Human Value Coral reefs boast some of the richest in biodiversity on the planet. Coral reefs benefit the environment and people in numerous ways. Coral reefs cover an area of over 280,000 km 2 and support thousands of species in what many describe as the rainforests of the seas. Why are coral reefs important Coral reef habitats represent some of the densest and most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Coral reefs maybe have been around for as much as 500 million years, but scientists are warning that they might be gone or decimated by the end of the century. And coral reefs are important to our economy, too. A vital habitat. 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