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The Biology of Coral Reefsby Charles R. C. Sheppard
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Reefs provide a wealth of opportunity for learning about biological and ecosystem processes, and reef biology courses are among the most popular in marine biology and zoology departments the world over. Walter M. Goldberg has taught one such course for years, and he marshals that experience in the pages of The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms.
Goldberg examines the nature not only of coral reefsandmdash;the best known among types of reefsandmdash;but also of sponge reefs, worm reefs, and oyster reefs, explaining the factors that influence their growth, distribution, and structure. A central focus of the book is reef construction, and Goldberg details the plants and animals that form the scaffold of the reef system and allow for the attachment and growth of other organisms, including those that function as bafflers, binders, and cementing agents. He also tours readers through reef ecology, paleontology, and biogeography, all of which serve as background for the problems reefs face today and the challenge of their conservation.
Visually impressive, profusely illustrated, and easy to read, The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms offers a fascinating introduction to reef science and will appeal to students and instructors of marine biology, comparative zoology, and oceanography.
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
1. Coral Reefs - Biodiverse and Productive Tropical Ecosystems
2. The Main Reef Builders and Space Occupiers
3. The Abiotic Environment
4. Symbiotic Interactions
5. Microbial, Microalgal and Planktonic Reef Life
6. Reef Fishes: Feeding and Food Chains
7. Reef Fisheries and Reef Aquaculture
8. Coral Reefs in the Modern World
9. Consequences to Reefs of Changing Environmental Stress
10. The Future, Human Population and Management
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