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Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene

Details key advances in DNA studies, which help determine the limitations of climate change adaptation and the potential effectiveness of management activities

By: Charles Birkeland (Editor)

490 pages, 60 colour & 52 b/w illustrations


Hardback | Nov 2015 | #224728 | ISBN-13: 9789401772488
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £135.00 $166/€151 approx

About this book

Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene investigates the effects of human activities on coral reefs, which provide important life-supporting systems to surrounding natural and human communities. It examines the self-reinforcing ecological, economic and technological mechanisms that degrade coral reef ecosystems around the world.

Topics include reefs and limestones in Earth history; the interactions between corals and their symbiotic algae; diseases of coral reef organisms; the complex triangle between reef fishes, seaweeds and corals; coral disturbance and recovery in a changing world.

In addition, the authors take key recent advances in DNA studies into account which provides new insights into the population biology, patterns of species distributions, recent evolution and vulnerabilities to environmental stresses. These DNA analyses also provide new understandings of the limitations of coral responses and scales of management necessary to sustain coral reefs in their present states.

Coral reefs have been essential sources of food, income and resources to humans for millennia. Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene details the delicate balance that exists within these ecosystems at all scales, from geologic time to cellular interactions and explores how recent global and local changes influence this relationship. It will serve as an indispensable resource for all those interested in learning how human activities have affected this vital ecosystem around the world.


1. Coral reefs in the Anthropocene
2. Reefs and limestones in Earth history
3. Reef biology and geology - not just a matter of scale
4. Bio erosion and coral reef growth: a dynamic balance
5. Interactions between corals and their symbiotic algae
6. Exploring coral reefs using the tools of molecular genetics
7. Genomic potential for coral survival of climate change
8. Diseases of coral reef organisms
9. Geographic Differences in Ecological Processes on Coral Reefs
10. Reef fishes, seaweeds and corals: a complex triangle
11. Coral disturbance and recovery in a changing world
12. Biology trumps management: feedbacks and constraints of life-history traits

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Charles Birkeland received his PhD from the University of Washington with Robert T. Paine as his advisor. He was a post-doc for 5 years at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and then a Professor at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory for 25 years. He was the 3rd President of the International Society for Reef Studies. From 2000 - 2010 he was a professor with the Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii.

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