Coral reefs provide many vital functions to marine ecosystems. They provide breakwaters to coastlines that prevent erosion. They are a huge source of biodiversity, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. And of most immediate importance to humans, they are home to many fish species sought by large-scale commercial fisherman, providing a vital food supply in many areas around the world. Finally, reefs are also big sinks for CO2 in the oceans. They consume CO2 in the water and turn it into limestone shells. Thus if there were no coral reefs: coastlines would erode, marine biodiversity would plummet, people would go hungry, and global warming would increase even more rapidly.
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