Coral Reef Water Quality

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Introduction In order for a coral reef to be productive and healthy, the water quality in the ocean should be maintained. Water quality not only affects coral reefs, but the other organisms that live on it and are involved with the natural food chain. Some of the factors that can influence water quality are nutrients, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, light, and chlorophyll present. Water is essential to every living organism because it helps with respiration, maintaining body temperature, digestion and provides energy. This experiment involved taking water samples from Ferry Reach off the BIOS dock and analyzing different factors to determine general conclusions about how water quality affects reef ecosystems.

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2). This data is not correct because the water off Ferry Reach is cloudy and not visible all the way down to the bottom. Error in the data could be due to the CTD not working properly, not calibrated correctly or not lowered slow enough to collect the right data. The turbidity of the water should have been around 40 NTU because it was cloudy due to suspended particles. The analysis of turbidity throughout different depths would have to be farther down than 2 ½ meters to get accurate results. Turbidity is the cloudiness that is caused by individual particles that are not visible to the naked eye. When looking at different depths of the ocean, especially near a reef, the turbidity could vary due to phytoplankton, storms making rough seas disturbing the sediment or human activity such as boating and scuba…show more content…
According to the light data taken, light irradiance decreases in depth. The clearer the water is the deeper the light will travel down (Fig. 4 & 5). How far light travels down in depth depends on how much suspended particles are in the water column but also the quality of the light. Coral reef ecosystems depend a lot on light attenuation because that is how they grow and survive. Different reef ecosystems vary depending on how deep because of the amount of light that is traveling through the water column. The linear regression on Figures 1 and 2 determined the diffuse attenuation coefficient for downwelling plane irradiance (Kd) which is the exponent of the equation on figure 1. The Kd value found using the light data from the experiment was 0.281 1/m. This value is in the normal range usually seen of 0.1-0.4, which means that light disappears faster with depth. A high Kd value means there are more phytoplankton in the water which on reefs is mainly suspended

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