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The Biology of Coral Reefs

Series: Biology of Habitats Series

By: Charles RC Sheppard(Author), Simon K Davy(Author), Graham M Pilling(Author), Nicholas AJ Graham(Author)

378 pages, 8 plates with 16 colour photos; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Nov 2017 | Edition: 2 | #235875 | ISBN-13: 9780198787358
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £34.99 $46/€39 approx
Hardback | Nov 2017 | Edition: 2 | #235874 | ISBN-13: 9780198787341
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £74.99 $99/€85 approx

About this book

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. Their world-wide deterioration and over-exploitation has continued and even accelerated in many areas since The Biology of Coral Reefs of the first edition in 2009. At the same time, there has been a near doubling in the number of scientific papers that have been written in this short time about coral reef biology and the ability to acclimate to ocean warming and acidification. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, incorporating the significant increase in knowledge gained over the last decade whilst retaining the book's focus as a concise and affordable overview of the field.

The Biology of Coral Reefs 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 Biology of Coral Reefs international relevance.

New to this Edition:
- A review of the work done on reef fishes in recent years and will focus particularly on the trophic structure on reefs.
- An update on the magnitude of environmental issues affecting reefs.
- An update of the molecular details of the symbiotic relationship between coral host and their captive algae.
- The addition of a new author, Nicholas Graham.

Reviews of the first edition:

"A must for coral reef biologists"
– Bert W. Hoeksema, Marine Biology Research

"Highly recommended. This work, the latest installment in Oxford's Biology of Habitats series, meets the high standards demonstrated by the preceding works in the series. Competent, current and concise [...] everyone will find something new or better explained here."


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: evolution, diversity, and function
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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Professor Charles Sheppard has spent over 40 years researching the ecology of coral reefs and their role in supporting islands and coastal communities. He is interested especially in effects of pollution and climate change on tropical marine systems, has been Editor of the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin for 23 years, and now is Editor of Advances in Marine Biology. He is now Emeritus Professor at the University of Warwick and was awarded the OBE for his work in conservation in the Indian Ocean.

Professor 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, where he is Head of the School of Biological Sciences. He is also President of the International Symbiosis Society and a topic editor for the scientific journal Coral Reefs.

Dr. Graham Pilling has over 20 years experience in applied fisheries science to support management, and has gained practical experience in tropical and coral reef ecosystems, including in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, and Pacific Ocean. His work has focused on stock assessment, evaluating feasible management approaches for fisheries at a range of geographic scales, and the implications of climate change for coral reef ecosystem services. He currently holds the post of Principal Fisheries Scientist at the SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme in New Caledonia.

Professor Nicholas Graham's research tackles large-scale ecological and social-ecological coral reef issues under the overarching themes of climate change, human use, and resilience. Increasingly he works with social scientists and economists to assess methods of linking social-ecological systems for natural resource assessment and management.

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