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