The biology of coral reefs

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Oxford University Press, Jun 25, 2009 - Nature - 339 pages
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Coral reefs represent the most spectacular and diverse marine ecosystem on the planet as well as a critical source of income for millions of people. However, the combined effects of human activity have led to a rapid decline in the health of reefs worldwide, with many now facing complete destruction.

This timely book provides an integrated overview of the function, physiology, ecology, and behaviour of coral reef organisms. Each chapter is enriched with a selection of 'boxes' on specific aspects written by internationally recognised experts. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate this marine environment although pollution, conservation, climate change, and experimental aspects are also included. Indeed, particular emphasis is placed on conservation and management due to the habitat's critically endangered status. A global range of examples is employed which gives the book international relevance.

This accessible text is intended for students, naturalists and professionals and assumes no previous knowledge of coral reef biology. It is particularly suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate students (in departments of biology, geography, and environmental science) taking courses in coral reef ecology, marine biology, oceanography and conservation biology, as well as the many professional ecologists and conservation biologists requiring a concise overview of the topic. It is also of relevance and use to reef managers, recreational divers, and amateur naturalists.

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Contents

The Main Reef Builders and Space Occupiers
33
The Abiotic Environment
66
Symbiotic Interactions
98
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)


Prof Charles Sheppard has spent 35 years researching the ecology of coral reefs and their role in supporting coastal communities. He is interested especially in effects of pollution and climate change on tropical marine systems, and has been Editor of the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin for 15 years.
Dr. Simon Davy is a specialist in the fields of coral-algal symbiosis and coral disease. He studied for his PhD at Bangor University. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida and the University of Sydney, before holding faculty positions at the University of Plymouth and now Victoria University of Wellington.
Dr Graham Pilling has considerable practical experience in tropical and coral reef ecosystems. He has gained in depth experience in the practical assessment and management of coral reef fisheries in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf. His recent work has focused on the implications of climate change for coral reef ecosystem services.