Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saving the Reef

There are many answers to this question. Some might say that the reef enhances the beauty of Ambergris Caye, and without it, the island would lose its main attraction. Others might argue that the reef provides food for the people of Belize, and without this resource, people would suffer. While both of these reasons are relevant, perhaps what should be considered the most important reason for protecting the reef has to do with the amount of biodiversity that resides within this ecosystem. It is biodiversity, after all, that helps keep not only the reef, but also the world's environments, balanced and healthy. Biodiversity, like the "green house effect" is yet another environmental buzzword that surfaced in the last decade. In simple terms, biodiversity describes the tremendous range and variety of organisms that exist on the earth, including the many species of plants and animals.
Biodiversity also refers to the variety of ecosystems that the earth sustains, from the tropical rainforests of Brazil to the coral reef of Belize. The coral reef ecosystem, for example, is known to contain the second greatest amount of biodiversity of any ecosystem, after the tropical rainforests. The multitude of plants and animals that inhabit the reef environment have evolved to cooperate and work with each other. It is this cooperation and dependency on each other that has helped this ecosystem to thrive. Likewise, this dependency also has a downside_as threats to this ecosystem, such as pollution and global warming, continue to rise, biodiversity is lost (i.e. species extinction) and a domino effect results, causing additional species to become extinct.

Read more on this and more on

No comments:

Post a Comment