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Academic & Professional Books  Marine & Freshwater Biology  Marine Biology  Marine Fauna & Flora

The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms

By: Walter M Goldberg(Author)
401 pages, 328 colour & 36 b/w photos, 14 b/w illustrations, 10 tables
The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms
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  • The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms ISBN: 9780226301686 Paperback Nov 2013 Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available
  • The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms ISBN: 9780226301679 Hardback no dustjacket Nov 2013 Out of Print #202973
Selected version: £44.50
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The Biology of Reefs and Reef OrganismsThe Biology of Reefs and Reef OrganismsThe Biology of Reefs and Reef OrganismsThe Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms

About this book

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 reefs – the best known among types of reefs – 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 Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms 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.


1) An Introduction to the Structure and Formation of Modern Reefs
The Nature and Origins of Reefs
Frame Reef Formation and Structure
Reef Growth and the Carbonate Budget
     Pluses and Minuses
Coral Reefs
     Limits to Coral Reef Distribution
     Types of Reefs
     Reef Zonation
The Evolution of Modern Reefs
     Tectonic Forces
     Sea Level Changes and Reef Growth

2) Reef Minerals and Mineralization
Calcium Carbonates
A Little Crystallography

3) Reef Cyanobacteria
Cyanobacterial Form and Function
Rock and Reef-Associated Cyanobacteria
     Calcifying Cyanobacteria
Stromatolite Formation
     Trapping the Sediment
     Cementing the Record
Nitrogen Fixation and Trophic Relationships

4) Reef Algae and Foraminiferans
The Chlorophyta
     Endolithic Microalgae
     Halimeda, an Extraordinary Calcifying Macrophyte
     Reproduction in Halimeda and Other Chlorophytes
     The Biology of Some Other Calcareous Chlorophytes
Brown Algae
Red Algae
     Red Algal Calcification
     Contributions of Crustose Corallines to Reef Structure
     Trophic Relationships
Turf Algae

5) Reef Sponges
Groups of Sponges and Their Skeletal Structures
     Glass Sponges
The Structural and Functional Roles of Sponges on Reefs
     Reef Growth and Recovery: Binding and Stabilization
     Bioeroding Sponges
     Hexactinellid Reefs
     Modern and Ancient Coralline Sponges
Trophic Dynamics and Ecological Interactions
     The Aquiferous System and Sponge Feeding
     Microbial Symbionts
     Predation and Sponge Chemistry
     Sponges as Habitats

6) Reef Corals and Their Allies
Reef Hydrozoa
     The Milleporid Corals
Introduction to the Anthozoa
Uncalcified Reef Anthozoans
     Sea Anemones
     Zoantharians and Corallimorpharians
Calcified Anthozoans
     The Scleractinians
The Octocorals
Deep-sea Corals and Coral Reefs
Coral Reproduction
     Asexual Modes
     Sexual Modes

7) Annelids and Sipunculans
Free-moving Polychaetes
Tubicolous and Burrowing Polychaetes
Polychaete Bioeroders
Polychaete Reproduction

8) Reef Mollusca
Mollusc Shell Structure
Molluscs as Carbonate Builders, Borers, and Scrapers
     The Polyplacophora
     The Gastropoda
     Reef-building Bivalves
     Endolithic Bivalves
     Ancient Rudist Bivalves

9) Reef Lophophorate and Protochordate Phyla
The Bryozoa
     Reef Bryozoa
     The Vicissitudes of the Ancient Bryozoa
     Brachiopods on Reefs
     Didemnid Ascidians

10) Reef Crustacea
The Maxillopoda
The Malacostraca
Decapod Crustaceans
     Brachyuran Crabs
     Hermit Crabs
Coral-Decapod Communities

11) Reef Echinoderms
     The Crown of Thorns
Reef Crinoids
     Crinoid Paleobiology

12) The Effect of Feeding by Reef Fishes on Corals and Coral Reefs
Coral Reef Herbivores
     Herbivory and its Deterrence
     Nominal Herbivory
The Special Role of Scarine Fishes
     The Scrapers
     The Excavators
     The Browsers
     Food Milling by Parrotfishes
Corallivorous Damselfishes and Their Gardens
Fishes That Perch or Live on Corals
Benthic Predatory Fishes: Their Influence on Corals and Coral Reefs
     Corallivorous and Other Durophagous Fishes

13) A Brief History of Reefs and Corals
Microbialite Reefs of the Precambrian
Reefs of the Paleozoic Era
     The Cambrian
     The Ordovician
     Silurian Reefs
     Devonian Reefs
     Carboniferous Reefs
     Permian Reefs
Reefs of the Mesozoic Era
     The Triassic
     Jurassic Reefs
     The Cretaceous and the Rise of the Rudista
Reefs of the Cenozoic Era
     The Paleocene Epoch, 65–56 Mya
     The Eocene and Oligocene Epochs, 56–23 Mya
     The Miocene Epoch, 23–5 Mya
     The Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs, 5 Mya–11.7 kya
     Are Ancient Reefs the Key to the Present?

14) Ecology, Diversity, and Biogeography of Coral Reefs
Different Types of Diversity
Diversity and Life Cycle Processes
Spawning Mode, Dispersal, and Connectivity
     Getting There and Staying There
Diversity and Coexistence
Diversity at Geographic Scales: Biogeography
     Hotspots and the Role of Commonness and Rarity in Coral Reef      Biodiversity
     The Coral Triangle
     Departure from the Coral Triangle
     Crossing the Pacific
     The Western Atlantic and the Greater Caribbean
     The Brazilian Province
     The Tropical Eastern Atlantic

15) Reefs Now and in the Next 100 Years
 Climate Change
     The Global Carbon Cycle
     Global Public Goods Gone Bad
     The Impacts of Increased Dissolved CO2
 The Biology of Coral  Bleaching and Disease
     Types and Causes of Coral Bleaching
     Recovery from Bleaching
     Coral Disease
 Direct and Indirect Effects of Human Activities on Reefs
     Destructive Fishing Practices
     Fishing on Deep Sea Coral Reefs
     Coral Mining
     Loss of Water Quality

16) Reef Resilience, Loss of Biodiversity, and the Role of Conservation
Acclimatization, Resistance, and Avoidance
Resilience and Phase Shifts
     Functional Redundancy, Species Richness, and Resilience
Synergies and Loss of Resilience
     Jamaica: A Case History
     Early Warning?
Stemming the Tide: Sanctuaries, Reserves, and Marine Protected Areas
     Protection is Relative
     Sanctuaries and Marine Protected Areas in the United States
     The World’s Largest Marine Protected Area
Design and Function of Marine Reserves
     Results of Protection
     Reserve Sites
     Reserve Maturity and Size
     Reserve Networks
     Stepping Stones, Corridors, and Habitat Diversity
     Loss of Connectivity
Are Reserves Enough?
     What Must be Done

I. Wentworth Scale (Grain Size)
II. Coral Reefs of the World (a-d)
III. Zooxanthellae Clade Distribution
IV. Geological Time Scale
V. Taxa Referred to in This Text


Customer Reviews


Walter M. Goldberg is professor emeritus at Florida International University, where he began his career as a marine biologist forty years ago.

By: Walter M Goldberg(Author)
401 pages, 328 colour & 36 b/w photos, 14 b/w illustrations, 10 tables
Media reviews

"[...] This is a most comprehensive review, particularly so as it is the work of one author, and would suit students on a range of marine biology courses. The text is well written, and covers a wide range of specialist and general marine biology topics. The illustrations are very high quality and well integrated into the text. There is a comprehensive list of references with each chapter and a detailed glossary of many of the key terms indicated in the text. An excellent addition to any department library."
– Ian Lancaster, The BES Bulletin 45(2), June 2014

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