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Things to know about coral reefs and their importance
Published in 21-6-2016
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The International Coral Reef Symposium convened Monday in Honolulu, where attendees will try to create a more unified conservation plan for coral reefs. Coral reefs support the most species of any marine environment, hosting countless kinds of fish, invertebrates and even mammals. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are over 800 species of coral that build reefs and hundreds of other soft and deep-sea coral species in the world. Essentially, the corals become stressed, often from warmer water temperatures but also from things like pollution and acidification, and then release the symbiotic algae that they use for nutrition. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is taking a wider view, recently launching a three-year campaign to gather new data on coral reefs from aircraft flying at about 23,000 feet above the ocean.