Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs, Volume II: Biology 1 discusses the major advances made in the biological aspects of coral reef problems. This book is organized into 12 chapters that cover the microbial aspects of coral reefs, the nutrition in corals, and diversity in coral reefs.
The opening chapters describe the distribution and role of coral reef microorganisms, as well as the significance of bacterioplankton as a food source for the marine fauna of coral reefs. The following chapter discusses the occurrence of algae in coral reef, their competition with corals for space, and their role in reef construction. Other chapters deal with food and feeding mechanisms of corals, the role of marine antibiotics in coral reef ecology, and some chemical compounds isolated from coral reef organisms, providing evidence for marine pharmacologic activity in coral reef areas. The book also discusses some basic problems relating to the distribution and abundance of hermatypic corals on reefs. It then examines species diversity on coral reefs, variety of reef structure, and the important role of toxic materials produced by holothurians on the general ecology and physiology of coral reefs. The last chapters describe the development, feeding, and behavior of the larval stages of several coral reef asteroids. Particular emphasis is given to the larval and post-larval stages of the crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. The starfish population explosions, the devastating effects on the hard coral cover of coral reefs, and causes and control of population explosions are also covered.
This volume will acquaint readers with some of the exciting developments in coral reef biology and will provide information that will enable them to assess the status of research in different fields.