What does Coral do for fish?
Because of the diversity of life found in the habitats created by corals, reefs are often called the “rainforests of the sea.” About 25% of the ocean’s fish depend on healthy coral reefs. Fishes and other organisms shelter, find food, reproduce, and rear their young in the many nooks and crannies formed by corals.
Who eats coral?
In addition to weather, corals are vulnerable to predation. Fish, marine worms, barnacles, crabs, snails and sea stars all prey on the soft inner tissues of coral polyps.
Does coral protect fish?
Coral reefs are important ecosystems where up to 8,000 species of fish live. These reefs provide many services to humans. For instance, they protect shores against large waves and provide fish for humans to eat.
Does coral need fish?
Coral reefs are an important resource for large-bodied fish in the Caribbean. They use the reef for shelter during the day, and as a hunting ground by night. Recent studies have shown that coral reefs rely on fish, too. Fish excrete ammonium, an essential nutrient for coral growth, through their gills.
Do corals feed fish?
While parrotfish eat a lot of coral, they also eat the algae that grow on top of coral reefs. When the fish eat the algae that compete with the coral polyps, the coral is able to grow and is more resilient in the face of local stressors (like pollution or warming).