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The Biology of Coral Reefs (Biology of Habitats) [Paperback]

Charles R.C. Sheppard , Simon K. Davy , Graham M. Pilling
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

25 Jun 2009 Biology of Habitats
Coral reefs represent the most spectacular and diverse marine ecosystem on the planet as well as a critical source of income for millions of people. However, the combined effects of human activity have led to a rapid decline in the health of reefs worldwide, with many now facing complete destruction.

This timely book provides an integrated overview of the function, physiology, ecology, and behaviour of coral reef organisms. Each chapter is enriched with a selection of 'boxes' on specific aspects written by internationally recognised experts. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate this marine environment although pollution, conservation, climate change, and experimental aspects are also included. Indeed, particular emphasis is placed on conservation and management due to the habitat's critically endangered status. A global range of examples is employed which gives the book international relevance.

This accessible text is intended for students, naturalists and professionals and assumes no previous knowledge of coral reef biology. It is particularly suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate students (in departments of biology, geography, and environmental science) taking courses in coral reef ecology, marine biology, oceanography and conservation biology, as well as the many professional ecologists and conservation biologists requiring a concise overview of the topic. It will also be of relevance and use to reef managers, recreational divers, and amateur naturalists.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198566360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198566366
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 1.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


A must for coral reef biologists (Bert W. Hoeksema, Marine Biology Research)

About the Author

Prof Charles Sheppard has spent 35 years researching the ecology of coral reefs and their role in supporting coastal communities. He is interested especially in effects of pollution and climate change on tropical marine systems, and has been Editor of the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin for 15 years.

Dr. Simon Davy is a specialist in the fields of coral-algal symbiosis and coral disease. He studied for his PhD at Bangor University. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida and the University of Sydney, before holding faculty positions at the University of Plymouth and now Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr Graham Pilling has considerable practical experience in tropical and coral reef ecosystems. He has gained in depth experience in the practical assessment and management of coral reef fisheries in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf. His recent work has focused on the implications of climate change for coral reef ecosystem services.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a huge for of this OUP series which covers the deep sea, med, rocky shores, mangroves etc and now coral reefs. The book just about perfect as a recommended text book if you are running a course on the biology of coral reefs and its not to expensive for students to purchase. I think this might be the first book on reefs that is neither a ridiculous price nor a coffee table book.

The book is well written and ordered with good use made of text boxes for particular points and relevant figures. The text is littered with appropriate references to primary literature to allow the reader to follow up on particular points.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Used this book as a textbook for Coral Reefs class 5 Feb 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've taken or served as teaching assistant for a number of classes on coral reef ecology, and we've never had a good, comprehensive textbook that was suitable for undergraduate students. I was excited to see this book this year, particularly since it appeared just before I taught my own undergraduate class on "Ecology of Reefs, Mangroves, and Seagrasses". We've read a number of the chapters on coral reefs, corals, and human impacts. I do wish there was more information on the organisms of the coral reef - algae, invertebrates, mammals & reptiles, as I had to find other sources for that. However, it is well-organized information, clear, and very up-to-date. I would use it as a textbook if/when I teach the class again and recommend the series to others teaching about the biology of habitats. We also used Hogarth's (2007) book in the series on mangroves & seagrasses.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, informative, relevant to current developments 1 April 2011
By Klaus Stiefel - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written introduction to coral reef biology, potentially useful for both a senior-undergraduate course or any diver wishing to learn more about the coral reefs she is hovering above.

The book treats many aspects of reefs, from the main reef builders, the abiotic environment, reef microbiology and the world of coral reef fishes. Most figures are black/white, but the book also contains some color plates. It goes into a good amount of detail, and covers some very recent scientific studies, but at the same time is written in a readable style. Often text boxes cover special topics, such as the crown-of-thorns starfish.

What I really appreciated is the significant part dedicated to conservation issues and the damage done to reefs by everything from overfishing, the creating of artificial islands, sewage run-off, to global warming and ocean acidification. When treating these subjects, the authors don't fall into the all-is-lost mode, but also outline how intelligent decisions by humans can make a big difference in reef health.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 18 Dec 2011
By DO'RYAN87 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Im a biology student and study corals. I found this book great as an introduction to the subject and a quick guide for remembering the basics. So is very useful for students of these ecosystems and for amateurs. Reading the book gives you the knowledge to understand more specific documents like papers later.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 8 Sep 2011
By TimeTrndFragile - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I received the book in the mail and it is in great condition for the class that I am taking. There are a few highlighter marks in it, but I plan on adding onto that anyway. The book is great!
5.0 out of 5 stars Biology of Coral Reefs Excellent 31 Mar 2014
By Kenneth M Fusco - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Biology of Coral Reefs is an excellent reference/textbook for scientifically minded people to delve further into the reefs. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in the education and preservation of one of the world's most beautiful, economically, and ecologically important resources.
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