Coral Reefs Quiz 1

Glossaries 1-5
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Coral reefs
Prominent oceanic features composed of hard, limy skeletons produced by coral animals; usually formed along edges of shallow, submerged ocean banks or along shelves in warm, shallow, tropical seas
Great Barrier Reef
the largest coral reef in the world, located off the coast of Australia
Starfish
echinoderms characterized by five arms extending from a central disk
sea anemone
marine polyps that resemble flowers but have oral rings of tentacles; differ from corals in forming no hard skeleton
nudibranch
a type of shell-less mollusks
gorgonian
soft corals
Christmas Tree
sea worm
crinoid
organism from the phylum Echinodermata (same as starfish)
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3)
chemical compound that makes up coral skeleton
Secretion
the process of creating and releasing chemicals from a cell or organism
Photosynthesis
a reaction carried on by plants and algae that produces sugar and oxygen from water and carbon dioxide (CO2); process plants use to convert trapped sunlight energy, water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates (sugar)
coral
one coral is made up of thousands or millions of tiny soft-bodied animals called coral polyps that range in diameter from about 1 mm to 1 cm or more
coral polyps
small sea anemone-like organisms that form colonies of many genetically identical individuals
colony
several individual organisms of the same species living closely together, usually for mutual benefit, such as stronger defenses or the ability to attack bigger prey.
colonial organism
A colony of single-celled organisms. the first step towards multicellular organisms via natural selection. individual organisms from a colony can, if separated, survive on their own, while cells from a multicellular life form cannot.
nematocysts
stinging cells
Taxonomy
classification
Phylum Cnidaria
Radially symmetric animals with mouths, tentacles, nematocysts, simple sensory organs and nervous system
Radial symmetry
several cutting planes would produce identical pieces of the organism
bilateral symmetry
only one plane can divide the organism into two mirror image halves
Class Anthozoa
benthic (or benthonic) organisms attached to the substrate that have a polyp-like body shape (corals and sea anemones)
Benthic organisms
organisms that live on or in the ocean floor
Subclass octocorallia
members of the class Anthozoa with eight tentacles. ex soft corals, sea fans and sea pens
Subclass hexacorallia
members of the class Anthozoa with more six or multiple of six tentacles. This group includes reef-building corals (Scleractinians) and sea anemones
Gorgonian
also known as sea whip or sea fan, is an order of sessile colonial cnidarian (octocorallia)
Sessile organisms
organisms anchored to the benthic environment (to the bottom of the ocean)
Sea pens
colonial marine cnidarians (octocorallia)
Sea pansy
frequently found washed ashore on northeast Florida beaches, can often be found living completely buried in sand (octocorallia)
Black corals
colonial cnidarians, most common in tropical deep water habitats from 30-80 m depth, colonies lack symbiotic algae, may be globally threatened as a result of overharvesting for the jewelry trade (Hexacorallia)
Order Scleractinia
hard corals, reef building corals
Corallite
hard skeleton secreted by coral polyps under their skin
Aragonite
a carbonate mineral (the same chemical composition, CaCO3, can assume different structures and be different minerals)
septa
wall-like extensions of the corallite that radiate from the sides
columella
extends upwards from the floor of the corallite like a stalagmite
Cnidocytes
cells modified to capture and immobilize prey by injecting poisons, firing very rapidly in response to contact
Zooplankton
animals (often microscopic) that drift (float but cannot really swim against currents) in the water column
Gastrovascular cavity
stomach
Gastrovascular canals
canals that connect different polyps within a colony
hermatypic corals
reef-building, need sunlight, live with an algal symbiont called zooxanthellae
ahermatypic corals
non-reef-building, don't have zooxanthellae
zooxanthellae
single celled algae (dinoflagellates) that live inside the polyps
mutualistic symbiosis
a close and often long-term interaction between different biological species in which both organisms benefit from the relationship
Phototrophic organisms
organisms (commonly plants) that carry out photosynthesis to acquire energy
Epidermis
Epidermis -outermost layer of skin
Cilia
microscopic (5-10 micrometers) tail-like (or hair-like) projections that cover (and extend outward) the outer walls (or membranes) of some cells
Mucus
a slippery secretion produced by some membranes (ex skin)
Absorption
process by which substances can enter the body through the skin (sometimes through mucus)
Budding
process through which colonies grow by asexual reproduction (can be intratentacular budding: polyp divides in two; or extratentacular budding: new mouth with tentacles forms between two adjacent polyps)
fragmentation
process through which new colonies form by asexual reproduction, usually occurs as a result of storm damage, if polyps become detached from the 'mother colony' and give rise to new colonies
Gonochorism
a species has separate males producing sperm and females producing eggs
Hermaphroditism
simultaneous if organism has both ovaries for eggs and testes for sperm (sequential if organism starts life as a male and later turns into a female or vice versa)
broadcast spawning
corals release eggs and sperm into the water column and the eggs are fertilized externally
brooding
corals keep the eggs inside the polyps, in the gastrovascular cavity, and they are fertilized internally and develop into larvae inside the mother polyp
Planula larvae
coral larvae
euphotic zone
the shallow part of the ocean where most wavelengths of light are still present
Chlorophyll
a pigment that captures photons (packets of light) and transfers their energy to electrons
cellular respiration
Process by which plants and animals disassemble organic molecules (food) and harvest energy
productivity
The quantity of organic matter (often measured as carbon or energy content) which is accumulated during a given period of time
biomass
total amount of living material in a given habitat, population, or sample
Competition
-- negative interaction that occurs among organisms whenever two or more organisms require the same limited resource
interference competition
organisms interact directly by fighting for scarce resources
exploitative competition
organisms interact indirectly by consuming scarce resources
sweeper tentacles
tentacles present in some coral species that are 30X longer than their normal length and have very strong nematocysts
taxa
groups of organisms that belong to the same taxonomic level
predation
biological interaction where a predator (an organism that is hunting) feeds on its prey, the organism that is attacked
corallivores
animals that eat coral polyps
omnivorous
animals that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source
Grazing
type of predation in which a herbivore feeds on plants (such as grasses) or multicellular algae
herbivores
animals that get energy from eating only plants or algae
symbiosis
commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. Generally, only lifelong interactions involving close physical and biochemical contact can properly be considered symbiotic
Mutualism
describes any relationship between individuals of different species where both individuals benefit from the interaction. Mutualistic relationships may be either obligate for both species, obligate for one but facultative for the other, or facultative for both.
Zonation
concept according to which a particular ecosystem will typically be divided into zones, each one having a particular set of physical parameters, such as light intensity, that set it aside from any other part of the ecosystem
Zone
part of the ecosystem that is defined by its physical parameters and location within the ecosystem
Ecosystem
a natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms (biological components) in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical factors of the environment
Polymorphic species
species expressing different growth forms in response to different locations on the reef
Branching corals
have primary and secondary branches
Staghorn coral
a branching coral with cylindrical branches ranging from a few centimeters to over two meters in length and height
Elkhorn coral
a branching coral with a unique growth pattern with exceptionally thick and sturdy antler-like branches
Digitate corals
look like fingers or clumps of cigars and have no secondary branches
Table corals
form table-like structures and often have fused branches
Foliase corals
have broad plate-like portions rising in whorl-like patterns
Encrusting corals
grow as a thin layer against a substrate (rocks, etc)
Massive corals
ball-shaped or boulder-like and may be small as an egg or as large as a house
Mushroom corals
resemble the attached or unattached tops of mushrooms
Lagoon
located after the lagoon in shallow water and generally protected from breaking waves by the reef crest
Back reef
the shallowest, flattest part of a reef, often partly eroded and uncovered at low tide
Reef Crest
(rock rim) is the highest energy zone of the reef, where the reef takes the full force of wave action, with very intense light
Reef slope
seaward zone of the reef, characterized by a steep slope. It is the optimal habitat for most coral species
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