Related topics: coral reefs · coral · great barrier reef

Live fast, die young: Study shows tiny fishes fuel coral reefs

Scientists have long sought to understand how coral reefs support such an abundance of fish life despite their location in nutrient-poor waters. According to a new study published May 23 in the journal Science, an unlikely ...

Conservation goals compete at the expense of biodiversity

With an ever-growing list of threats facing biodiversity on multiple scales, conservationists struggle to determine which to address. A common reaction is to prioritize their efforts on threats to individual species or management ...

New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals

Symbiotic algae living inside corals provide those animals with their vibrant color, as well as many of the nutrients they need to survive. That algae, and other microbes within the bodies of corals, have been extensively ...

What makes a place a home?

Invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) are now ubiquitous throughout the Caribbean and Western Atlantic on both shallow and deep reefs. While many invasive species disrupt natural ecosystems by spreading disease ...

Tiger sharks revealed as lazy predators

One of the ocean's most feared predators – the tiger shark—has been revealed as a relaxed and sometimes lazy hunter by scientists studying their behaviour.

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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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