Protect the Critically Endangered Siderastrea Glynni Coral Reef

Protect the Critically Endangered Siderastrea Glynni Coral Reef

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Devki Welt started this petition to World Wildlife Fund

Siderastrea glynni is a species of coral native to Panama Bay. It is from the neritic marine environmental ecosystem near the Pacific opening of the Panama Canal. This ecosystem is not stable; it is in decline. As of 2008, the population size is that there are only four known colonies of siderastrea glynni in existence. They were first discovered as five colonies in Panama Bay, and four survived to be brought to Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Aquaria later. There, H. Guzman bred them, producing 11 propagules (The ICUN Red List). This species is "now under revision as it is thought to be a junior synonym of siderastrea sideria" ("Siderastrea Glynni").

Some examples of biotic factors in their ecosystem are other cnidarians, fish, and algae. Examples of abiotic factors in their environment include the soil, sand, and nutrients, as well as the water, its pH, and its temperature. Corals share a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, which is a kind of algae, in which the algae live in the coral’s stomach cells and provide them with extra energy and nutrients. They also have commensal symbiotic relationships with an incredible number of species of fish, which live in and around the skeleton and a protected by it. They have a mutually beneficial relationship with large fish, which eat algae that can otherwise threaten to smother the coral, and other marine organisms that could graze juvenile corals or damage older ones. Since many fish benefit from coral reefs, they are incredibly important to their ecosystems (Sanctuary).

The amount of nutrients and space in the water can be limiting factors that can affect the carrying capacity of the organism, as they can check its ability to grow and reproduce. Ecological succession affects siderastrea glynni negatively, as severe weather, urban areas, invasive species, waste, and pollutants which have all appeared relatively recently can all pose a threat to the survival of the organisms.

Corals are heterotrophs, or consumers, meaning that they eat other organisms in order to obtain energy. They eat zooplankton, which makes them secondary consumers. Since corals are secondary consumers, they are at trophic level three. According to the law of 10, corals obtain only 1% of the energy produced by the producers or autotrophs at the bottom of their food chain, which are phytoplankton. Phytoplankton use 100% of the energy they create, zooplankton obtain 10% of that energy when they consume them, and corals obtain 10% of the zooplanktons’ energy. When siderastrea glynni dies, it is broken down by decomposers that are part of its ecosystem, and its materials are returned to the abiotic elements of its habitat, where they can be used by other organisms.

Human activities have various negative impacts on siderastrea glynni and similar organisms. Sediment runoff, use of coral sand and rock as resources, and increased pollution cause severe damage to all kinds of coral reefs. Additionally, fishing practices, such as the liberal use of cyanide to stun large fish and the physical demolition of coral in order to flush out fish living there, can severely damage and destroy coral reefs, including siderastrea glynni. Humans contribute to climate change through their production of greenhouse gases. The habitat of siderastrea glynni is degraded by climate change due to effects such as ocean warming and ocean acidification. Humans also negatively impact the habitat by polluting it with trash that enters the Panama Bay for a variety of reasons. Siderastrea glynni is negatively impacted by greenhouse gases and climate change, or global warming. Extreme temperatures, storms, flooding, and ocean acidification threaten the organisms’ survival, due to lack of suitable temperature range and blockage of light, as well as damage to the organisms due to an unsuitable pH level. High temperatures can also cause severe coral bleaching. Non-renewable energy, including fossil fuels, can produce greenhouse gases when used, which lead to climate change and ocean acidification. Therefore, siderastrea glynni is negatively impacted by the use of non-renewable energy because of its contribution to climate change, which poses many threats to the organisms. As a result, one action that humans could take to protect them would be the use of renewable energy, which could be incredibly beneficial to the species. Another action that humans could take to protect siderastrea glynni could be to use more humane fishing practices or reduce commercial fishing, in order to decrease the destruction of reefs as a method of fishing. Please try to help this species of coral reef to return to abundance in the wild.


Example Food Chain:

Phytoplankton → Zooplankton → Siderastrea Glynni → Crown of Thorns Starfish → Titan Triggerfish → Shark


Works Cited:

“Balistes Vetula.” Florida Museum, 5 May 2017, www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/balistes-vetula/

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Neritic Zone.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Jan. 2018, www.britannica.com/science/neritic-zone

“Crown of Thorns Starfish.” Reef Resilience, reefresilience.org/coral-reefs/stressors/predator-outbreaks/crown-of-thorns-starfish/.

Noaa. “Siderastrea Glynni Coral.” NOAA Fisheries, www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/siderastrea-glynni-coral

Sanctuary, Florida Keys National Marine. “Corals Get Their Food from Algae Living in Their Tissues or by Capturing and Digesting Prey.” How Do Corals Eat?, 4 Apr. 2011, floridakeys.noaa.gov/corals/coralseat.html.

“Siderastrea Glynni | Siderastrea Glynni*.” EDGE of Existence, www.edgeofexistence.org/species/siderastrea-glynni/.

“The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.” IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, www.iucnredlist.org/species/133121/3580319#assessment-information

US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Natural Threats to Coral Reefs - Corals: NOAA's National Ocean Service Education.” Natural Threats to Coral Reefs - Corals: NOAA's National Ocean Service Education, 1 June 2013, oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_corals/coral08_naturalthreats.html.

Wilkinson, Clive R. “Coral Reefs: The Forgotten Rain Forests of the Sea.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 8 Dec. 1997, www.britannica.com/topic/endangered-reefs-1017116

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