Provide a 6 pages analysis while answering the following question: The Belize Barrier Reef. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. The human intrusion has been a real problem and the challenges of the future will show whether or not conservation can be achieved.
A barrier reef is defined as a group of coral reefs that are separated from the land that is non-reefal and is defined by a deep Lagoon between those two regions. The morphology of a barrier reef consists of a landmass, and Lagoon, and then a reef. This definition means that an atoll rim would not be considered a barrier reef. Some definitions of very reefs are more related to their genesis. In 1842 darling describe the formation of the barrier reef as a progressive series of fringing reefs that surround volcanic islands, creating a Lagoon that acts between the reef and the land (Hopley, 2011).
One of the longest barrier reef systems in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean is off the shores of Belize. This reef is approximately 200 km in length. This section in Belize is the only “true outer barrier system” along with the Mesoamerican barrier reef system which runs along the Mexican the Yucatán, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Most of the links of this coral reef system consist of fringing reefs (Hopley, 2011). The lagoon of the Belize barrier reef is about 20 to 40 km wide with seagrasses covering most of the larger areas. In the north of the lagoon, the water is too murky to support coral, but the south of the dunes deeper and drops as much as 30 m in many areas. The reef rises from the lagoon setting up on the continental shelf. There is a section that is a wide reef flat which is mostly dominated by rocks and debris, including numerous small coral caves. Mangroves crowd the area as well as other trees and coconut palms (Spalding, 2004).
The barrier reef is a very carefully cultivated ecosystem. As an example, the reefs and mangroves in Belize interact so that some species like the giant rainbow parrotfish will disappear if the mangroves were ever cut down (Spalding, 2004).
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