Where can coral reefs grow?
Arial view of reef
Aerial view of reef

Coral is very fussy about where it can live. When they look for a home they want:

  • Perfectly clean sea water. Silt from the land is a big no no.
  • Warm sea temperatures preferably in tropical waters. But they donít like it too hot.
  • The sea must be shallow. Below 60 metres there is not enough light for the polypsí zooxanthellae friends to produce food.

  • The seawater must have a very low level of nutrients. Fertiliser washed in from the land will encourage seaweed to take over.
  • Coral polyps donít like the amount of salt in the seawater changing.
  • Any increase in ultraviolet radiation makes life very unpleasant for corals.

Itís surprising that an animal that is so fussy is as common as it is.