Reef Evolution

Paperback | March 1, 1999

byRachel Wood

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Reefs are an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Visible from outer space, coral reefs are the largest biologically constructed features known; in close proximity their spectacular beauty and abundance of life is dazzling. Reefs are estimated to occupy only a small percentage of the oceans, buttheir importance to the marine environment is many-faceted and global. Reefs create harbours and allow the development of shallow basins with associated mangrove or seargrass communities; they protect coastlines from erosion; reefs are involved in the regulation of atmospheric carbon, which in turncontributes to climate control; ancient reefs can provide extensive oil and gas reservoirs. From a biological standpoint, however, the great significance of reefs lies in their ability to generate and maintain a substantial proportion of tropical marine biodiversity. This text documents thosebiological innovations which have moulded the evolution of reef ecosystems and given rise to the highly complex communities found today. The appearance of clonality, the acquisition of photosymbiosis and the radiation of predator groups are all discussed in depth. Throughout the book, Rachel Wooduses data from the fossil record to document the evolutionary development of reef ecosystems. This interdisciplinary approach has the aim of providing an analytical text which will be of value not only to advanced undergraduates and postgraduate courses, but also to researchers in ancient reefecology. Rachel Wood is Royal Society University Research Fellow, and Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

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From the Publisher

Reefs are an extraordinary natural phenomenon. Visible from outer space, coral reefs are the largest biologically constructed features known; in close proximity their spectacular beauty and abundance of life is dazzling. Reefs are estimated to occupy only a small percentage of the oceans, buttheir importance to the marine environment ...

Rachel Wood, Royal Society Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1TA. Tel 01223-335420 Email: rw43@esc.cam.ac.uk

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Format:PaperbackPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198577842

ISBN - 13:9780198577843

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Table of Contents

1. An introduction to reefs2. The recognition of ancient reefs3. The record: ancient reef ecologiesPart I. Environmental Controls4. The role of physicochemical change5. Mass extinctions: collapse and recoveryPart II. Evolutionary Innovation6. Life on a substrate: trends in growth fomr and function7. The rise of biological disturbance8. Photosymbiosis: access to a new metabolic capabilityAppendix: Geological Time ScaleReferencesGlossaryIndex

Editorial Reviews

'...of value not only to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate course, but also to researchers in modern and ancient reef ecology.' Ethology Ecology and Evolution