Coral Reefs: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | June 27, 2014

byCharles Sheppard

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Coral reefs have been long regarded with awe by the millions of people who have encountered them over the centuries. Early seafarers were wary of them, naturalists were confused by them, yet many coastal people benefited greatly from these mysterious rocky structures that grew up to thesurface of the sea. They have been rich in their supply of food, and they provided a breakwater from storms and high waves to countless coastal communities that developed from their protection. Their scale is enormous and their value high. Found in countless locations around the world, from theIndo-Pacific coral reef province to the Caribbean and Australia, they support both marine and human life. In this Very Short Introduction, Charles Sheppard provides an account of what coral reefs are, how they are formed, how they have evolved, and the biological lessons we can learn from them. Today, the vibrancy and diversity of these fascinating ecosystems are under threat from over exploitation andcould face future extinction, unless our conservation efforts are stepped up in order to save them.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Coral reefs have been long regarded with awe by the millions of people who have encountered them over the centuries. Early seafarers were wary of them, naturalists were confused by them, yet many coastal people benefited greatly from these mysterious rocky structures that grew up to thesurface of the sea. They have been rich in their s...

Charles Sheppard's research focuses mainly on community ecology, particularly on ecosystem responses to climate change. He works for a number of UN, Governmental, and aid agencies to advise on topical marine and costal developmental issues. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including The Biology of Coral Reefs (OUP, 2009).

other books by Charles Sheppard

The Biology of Coral Reefs
The Biology of Coral Reefs

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.68 inPublished:June 27, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199682771

ISBN - 13:9780199682775

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The architecture of a reef2. The engine of the reef3. Reef fish and major predators4. The largest parts of the reef system5. Developing pressures6. Climate change and reefs7. Doing something about itReferences and further reading