Coral Reefs of the Indian Ocean: Their Ecology and by T. R. McClanahan, C. R. C. Sheppard, D. O. Obura

By T. R. McClanahan, C. R. C. Sheppard, D. O. Obura

Obtainable and intricate, coral reefs are perfect typical laboratories for learning a variety of ecological and organic questions. This assortment makes a speciality of the Indian Ocean and the pink Sea, which include the most magnificent reefs stumbled on wherever and that are really little studied. it's going to entice a extensive diversity of researchers in ecology and may be an important source for a person learning reefs.

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Extra resources for Coral Reefs of the Indian Ocean: Their Ecology and Conservation

Sample text

High 26 Part I. Overview salinity resulting from high evaporative rates, as well as high temperatures, are usually associated with flats devoid of macro-biota. Surface water temperatures of well over 40°C and salinity exceeding 80 ppt often arise in tidal water, especially in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, in embayments in Arabia, northern India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In ponded areas salinity of double this value are common (60). Mud flats which are inundated at least daily and which have salinity of below about 70 ppt support abundant invertebrates, and commonly spectacular bird life.

Similar though less visually dramatic events may be seen around the Chagos atolls and the main Seychelles group at certain times too. Atolls in this ocean arise rapidly from abyssal depths, and ocean currents, though not necessarily very strong, impinge on undersea mountains of several kilometers high in many cases. Modest enrichment of the surface from deeper water is at least a possibility.

The genus concerned, Ecklonia, is otherwise restricted to the southern hemisphere (2) where it grows in southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This kelp cooccurs with Sargassopsis, and unlike the Sargassum communities more common on reefs, has a marked seasonal cycle. The flora beneath the canopy has a particularly high diversity of at least 90 other algal species. Remarkably, corals of modest diversity (about 100 species) may be found scattered among the algae and beneath the canopy, though these rarely develop true coral reefs (49,62).

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