Coral reefs are highly diverse in their geographical and oceanographic features, forming many habitats and ecosystems, from the sea level of the abyss to a depth of about 4,000 m to the vegetation coral above sea level. The area hosts an important habitat and migration corridor that maintains unique assemblages of living things. Many of the ecosystems and ecosystems in these coral reefs remain to be explored and described through scientific research.
The Coral Sea is a body of water east of the Great Barrier Reef. It is bordered by Papua New Guinea to the north, the Tasman Front to the south, and the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia border the eastern Pacific Islands. The Australian part of the Coral Sea has a unique economic zone boundary as the eastern boundary.
The seabed beyond eastern Australia has been shaped by the spread of seabed and the sinking of major carbonate platforms along the continental shelf. The geological structure of the Coral Sea is a northeastern abyssal plain and a series of plateaus and slopes formed by seabed slopes and deep ocean trenches and the northern end of a series of volcanic seas to the south. In shallow water, 18 coral reefs rise from the structural highs of the plateau or from sea tops. Many small reefs form their perimeter. The only terrestrial habitats in the Coral Sea provide only 49 cases of plants and are uncultivated. Coral reefs are divided into five ecological subdivisions, each with unique geophysical features, ocean currents, productivity, and environmental communities.
The coral reef is dominated by three major surface currents. Namely, the southern equatorial current, the hurricane current, and the eastern Australian current. A series of jets between the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia enter the Coral Sea in a southerly equator. To the east of the Great Barrier Reef, the Southern Equatorial Current splits in two and forms the Northern Hiri Current. The slow clockwise gear in the Gulf of Papua and the southeastern eastern Australian Strait point, seasonally moving north and south, diverting western Pacific water across the continent to strengthen the Indonesian current in the Timor Sea during the winter and in the east. The eastern Australian currents bring hot, low-nutrient waters and tropical species south as a series of hurricanes, and are then pushed east by the Tasman Front outside northern New South Wales. Little is known about how small-scale circulation patterns affect the ecology of coral reefs. However, slower hurricanes have been found along some plateaus, enabling the species to retain and promote endemicity.
Only three of the 18 coral reefs in the Coral Sea have been the subject of scientific research. These are the Koringa-Herald, the Lihu Reef, and the Osprey Reef. One of the most notable observations here is the very low coral coverage of the Koringa-Herald and the high variability in the density of live corals in fish-dense corals and fish. The size of the reefs, the amount of protected habitat available, and the isolation of each reef from other reef systems are considered to be the most important factors in the abundance and composition of life on these reefs. The low coral cover present here seems to be a common feature of small isolated reefs that are generally uninhabited. Excessively exposed reefs are cooled by crustal Coraline algae, while low-algae grasses dominate reefs that are swept away by waves. The more protected areas are covered by live corals, the more complex the habitat and the greater the storage of invertebrates and fish. Coral, fish, and invertebrate populations show major changes in the Great Barrier Reef. While some reefs support high densities of sharks and other predators, conservation of Commonwealth marine reserves has led to a healthier population of otherwise exploited species.
Deep coral sea ecosystems are still being explored, but a large variety of geological compositions have been revealed. The geological characteristics and substrate composition of the deep ocean are major drivers of ecological communities, and recent discoveries include the Coraline sponge. They are considered living fossils. Various cold-water coral communities and coral reefs are home to predatory fish and sharks. Geological features such as sea borders and reefs can cause high productivity stains on the water above them, thus attracting additives of pelagic species. The Bentic communities in the deep sea can be provided with important food areas for deep diving cetaceans and fish. The Pelagic kingdom of the Coral Sea is often threatened. But here also come migratory cetaceans, turtles, and sharks, as well as tuna and billfish, which are important for fishing and conservation. The phlegmatic region of the South Coral Sea has become the site of an in-depth trophic study, revealing three layers of consumers that control a large density of central trophic fish and squid. The aggregation of nutrient-free coral reefs is crucial, as they may influence the behavior, reproduction, and migration patterns of exploiting species.