Related topics: coral reefs · coral · great barrier reef

Great Barrier Reef sees fragile coral comeback

Parts of Australia's beleaguered Great Barrier Reef now have the highest levels of coral cover seen in decades, a government report said Thursday, suggesting the aquatic wonder could survive given the chance.

Fire corals winning the battle for domination of Caribbean reefs

Every year for the past three decades, California State University, Northridge marine biologist Peter Edmunds has traveled to the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands to document the life history of fire ...

Reef fish evolution driven by biting

Coral reefs are home to a spectacular variety of fish. A new study by biologists at the University of California, Davis shows that much of this diversity is driven by a relatively recent innovation among bony fish—feeding ...

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Reef

In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water (six fathoms or less at low water).

Many reefs result from abiotic processes—deposition of sand, wave erosion planning down rock outcrops, and other natural processes—but the best-known reefs are the coral reefs of tropical waters developed through biotic processes dominated by corals and calcareous algae. Artificial reefs such as shipwrecks are sometimes created to enhance physical complexity on generally featureless sand bottoms in order to attract a diverse assemblage of organisms, especially fish.

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