Corals are the basis for the formation of other ecosystems:g. the grazing of coral formations by parrotfish leads to the formation of very large expanses of sand; this, through the action of currents, leads to the formation of islands and shallows, and ultimately to the formation of mangroves and other coastal forests
Important for protection of coastal ecosystem: Reefs are found along more than 150,000 kmof coastline in more than 100 countries and territories.
They form a barrier that absorbs the forces of waves, currents, storms, hurricanes, etc. coming from the open sea, thereby reducing coastal erosion.
Thus, they protect both the ecosystems between the reefs and the coasts, such as lagoons with seagrass beds, as well as human settlements along the coast.
An important source of Food resource: Reef animals are an important source of protein. Coral reefs provide about 10% of the fish caught worldwide (70-90% for the Southeast Asian countries)
Important for carbon sequestration: Coral reefs (made of calcium carbonate) are an important reservoir of carbon and help sequester ocean carbon, thus are an important part of the carbon cycle.
Importance for Medicine:g. Coral organisms are used in the search for treatments for certain cancers or the aging of cells. The coral’s skeleton, (used since 1970) for bone grafts, is a promising lead for bone regeneration.
Economic importance: As per an estimate, the total annual net benefit of the world’s coral reefs is $29.8 billion. Reefs are the backbone of tropical regions’ economies, through reef-related tourism and marine exports.