Chapter

Of Coral Reefs and Atolls

Wolf H. Berger

in Ocean

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780520247789
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247789.003.0005
Of Coral Reefs and Atolls

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This chapter explores the diversity of coral reefs and atolls and the factors governing their patterns of distribution. It highlights the important reasons for studying and mapping coral reefs, and describes the major factors that threaten the coral reef ecosystem. Reef ecosystems are now facing overexploitation brought about by sophisticated technology that supports intense fishing and collecting of corals and mollusks. Another threat to coral reefs is coral bleaching, or the loss of photosynthesizing symbionts due to progressive global warming.

Keywords: coral reefs; atolls; reef ecosystems; coral bleaching; global warming

Chapter.  17040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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