Reefs provide a wealth of opportunity for learning about biological and ecosystem processes, and reef biology courses are among the most popular in marine biology and zoology departments the world over. Walter M. Goldberg has taught one such course for years, and he marshals that experience in the pages of The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms.
Goldberg examines the nature not only of coral reefs—the best known among types of reefs—but also of sponge reefs, worm reefs, and oyster reefs, explaining the factors that influence their growth, distribution, and structure. A central focus of the book is reef construction, and Goldberg details the plants and animals that form the scaffold of the reef system and allow for the attachment and growth of other organisms, including those that function as bafflers, binders, and cementing agents. He also tours readers through reef ecology, paleontology, and biogeography, all of which serve as background for the problems reefs face today and the challenge of their conservation.
Visually impressive, profusely illustrated, and easy to read, The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms offers a fascinating introduction to reef science and will appeal to students and instructors of marine biology, comparative zoology, and oceanography.