How Hurricanes Impact the
Hurricanes impact coral reefs in many ways. Reefs
help the shoreline during hurricanes. Fortunately the presence of the Great Barrier Reef, for example, helps to
reduce the strength of waves that accompany hurricanes, and decrease the impact
on the shoreline of Australia. Some believe tropical
storms benefit to the reef ecosystem. The hurricanes and tropical storms spread
the reef by clearing dead organisms and spreading the broken branches of coral
that break off. These pieces scatter and reproduce to start new colonies in
different parts of the ocean. Other people believe hurricanes are much more
destructive, rather than helpful. Sponges and sea fans are ripped from their
bases and appear on shores. Waves shatter entire communities of coral.
Sediments in the water decrease the visibility through the water and reduce the
amount of sunlight able to reach the coral; that stops the coral from growing.
Hurricanes, therefore, impact the coral reefs in good ways and in bad.
Effects of a hurricane on
this coral reef
Picture Courtesy of: http://www.reefrelief.org
Coral Reef Formation Coral
Reef Conservation Coral
Great Barrier Reef Belize Coral Reef Florida