Coral Reefs: Biology and Diversity


Coral Reefs: Unique Ecosystems


Where Do Coral Reefs Occur?


Reef-Building Corals

Stony Corals (Scleractinia, Hexacorallia)


Other Reef Corals

Octocorals (Anthozoa, Octocorallia)

Hydrocorals (Hydrozoa)


Coral - Zooxanthellae Symbiosis

Zooxanthellae: Symbiodinium. No. species?

Host specificity varies (corals, anemones)

Algal cells not digested in gastrodermis

Nature of mutualism


How are coral reefs productive in a nutrient-poor environment?

Consumers and Regulators of Reefs


Coral Reef Diversity

Hermatypic corals

Other Invertebrates

Coral-Reef Fishes


Natural Disturbances

Small-scale (1-100 m2)

Large-scale (1-100 km2)


Human-induced Disturbances and Stress


Coral-Bleaching