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Coral is an "organic" gem, not a mineral. It comes from a
living material. Coral is the calcium carbonate house
which is built much the same way an oyster secretes his
protective shell home. The difference is that the oyster
does this for one shell and it takes thousands, millions or
billions of these communal polyps over decades or even
centuries to build these collective houses.

1. The formations resemble tree branches when seen in the
water. Coral occurs in a variety of colors
white, pink
orange red, blue and black. I have seen a blue which
comes from Hawaii that doesn
t seem very popular.
(Perhaps that is because the blue isn
t very pretty.)
Angelskin coral, white with a pink or peach blush is one of
the more expensive varieties and is used extensively in fine
jewelry. However, the most expensive and now the rarest
coral is red coral often called noble or oxblood coral This
is a very deep red, not an orange red with which it is
sometimes confused.

The best red, or noble, coral comes from the seas around
Italy where it becoming rare. White coral comes from
Japanese waters and the black comes from Mexico and
Hawaii. Coral is also found in Australia, the Red Sea, and
the Malaysian Archipelago. It is found at depths of from
10 to 1000 feet and is harvested by dredging a wide-
meshed net over the sea bed. This method often destroys
much valuable material as coral grows with its broad base
on the rocky seabed.

For twenty centuries or more coral was classed with
precious gems and can be found adorning ancient amulets
along side of emeralds, pearls, rubies and diamonds. By
the 16th century it had been "experimentally proved" to
cure madness, give wisdom and calm storms. Along with
this coral enabled to traveler to cross broad rivers and to
prevent sterility. WOW!

Red coral symbolizes attachment, devotion and protection
against plague and pestilence. There is one more special
quality coral has. When a friend of the wearer is about to
die, it loses its color. In order to make this power effective,
the coral should not be cut or polished, but left in its
natural state. Today there are those who still believe coral
loses it magical power if it has been cut.

Two things you should know about coral are its porocity
and softness. It is about 3
½ to 4 on Mohs scale so be
cautious when wearing it especially in a ring. .Coral
scratches and abrades easily. Bright lights have a tendency
to darken it and coral may be hurt by heat and bright lights.
Coral is best stored in a cloth bag with an even temperature
and humidity.

Acids and solvents soften, swell, melt and dissolve coral.
You should be careful around chlorinated swimming pools,
turpentine, ammonia., alcohol, nail polish remover and
other chemicals. Avoid brushes, abrasives and contact with
harder materials.

Coral is a lovely gem and usually pricey, so you need to be
a cautious buyer as there are many imitations on the
glass and plastic being the most common. Other
less expensive stones have been dyed to imitate coral.

Take a look in the Mary Lee Price Bead catalog to find
some examples of coral necklaces and earrings. You will
notice that most of the stones I have are small and are






Coral is a marine organic product based on calcium carbonate whose color varies most often from rose to deep red, more rarely black. Its deposits : coasts of the Mediterranean, Malaysia, North of Australia and Red Sea. Porous substance, coral can lose its polish. It does not like water, perfumes and the acidity of the skin.






Considered by Tibetans and Indians of America, as one of the five sacred stones, coral would represent the energy of vital force. Deep red coral would warm and stimulate blood circulation. Pink coral would have a direct influence on heart in case of emotional conflicts. Red coral would symbolize courage and kindness, rose coral, decency and white coral, modesty. Stone of the subconscious, coral is a precious help for meditation and visualization.

Ocean Watch




By Susan Scott






Black coral: Beautiful, but comes at a high price



A couple of years ago, I went strolling through a Manila marketplace with several American acquaintances. The shopkeepers there beckoned us to their booths with animated stories.


One seller of black coral told of the rarity of the precious material and the great danger divers risk to collect it.


"You shouldn't buy any," one husband told his wife as she lingered over the black coral display. "I think it's endangered."


"Just because it's hard to get doesn't mean it's endangered," the woman snapped. "Besides, it's already dead. It would be terrible to let it sit here and go to waste."


The woman bought the jewelry.


The man fumed in anger.


I remember this scene vividly now that the tragic deaths of two Maui divers has brought black coral to the headlines. Who was right back there in Manila? The question is as mysterious as the animal itself.


Black coral grows in all oceans, ranging from just below the tide line to depths of thousands of feet.


Most of the 150 known species live in tropical waters below about 300 feet. The few that thrive in shallower water, 60 feet or less, usually grow in caves and under ledges where light is dim.


Black corals thrive in such darkness because they don't have symbiotic plants in their tissues, like reef corals do.


Another difference between these two coral types is that black coral does not form reefs or heads. A colony of black coral looks like a tree growing up from the ocean floor. The largest of such trees in Hawaii reach about 6 feet tall, averaging 2 inches of growth per year.


The trunks and branches of black coral (and some pink and gold species) are as hard as ivory and pearl. After cutting, grinding and polishing, artisans can fashion these coral skeletons into gleaming treasures, popular among a wide range of people.


This coveting of hard coral is not a new human fancy.


Ancient Greeks and Romans collected the unusual animals, thinking they held magical or healing powers.


In Asia, black coral has been sold as scepters, divining rods and amulets to ward off evil or injury. In North Africa, black coral was believed to neutralize the effects of the "evil eye."


In Hawaii today, countless shops sell millions of dollars worth of pink, black and gold coral each year.


"Is this OK?," friends ask me. Is black or pink or gold coral endangered?


Technically, no. A Hawaii researcher reports that there's plenty down there, far beyond the reach of human hands. Therefore, even though it may not be visible, most species are doing just fine.


Also, Hawaii divers say they are careful to take the trees in a responsible, sustainable manner, harvesting only mature growths.


Biologists, however, don't know much about the living animals because so few remain in areas shallow enough to study. Says one book: " vxxx (black corals) are an excellent case where careful observation of the living colony can provide vxxx insights unobtainable from the dead skeleton alone."


Another source states: "Extensive gathering of black coral branches in the Philippines and in Hawaii, for making jewelry, is seriously depleting stocks of this handsome coral."


Another aspect to consider in a black coral purchase is the cost in terms of human life. Because they must dive so deep to get it, deaths are relatively common worldwide among black coral divers.


Each person must search their own conscience to decide whether to buy black coral. For me, the questions remaining about its growth, and the deaths of divers collecting it, makes the price of black coral too high.


Susan Scott is a marine science writer and author of three books about Hawaii's environment. Her Ocean Watch column appears Monday in the Star-Bulletin.

Amazing Coral Calcium
Interview with Robert Barefoot

1. * * * * * * * * * *

Hello, I'm Lee Davis. We have a very special guest. His name is Robert Barefoot. He's a scientist and he has done a great deal of research on the effects of calcium on the human body and is an expert especially on Coral Calcium and why it's so important.

I was first exposed to Coral Calcium just three weeks ago when a friend told me some amazing stories about people who had been seriously ill becoming completely well just by drinking water with Coral Calcium in it. Naturally, I was skeptical, but I decided to do some investigating of my own. Folks, my friend was right. People are experiencing miracles just by drinking the Coral Calcium. But what I discovered was not based on mysticism but as a purely scientific explanation, and I've come to believe that everyone needs to know about this incredible phenomenon of nature.

In order to understand why Coral Calcium works, we need to first understand why calcium is the big player in our quest for health. Mr. Robert Barefoot, as I said, is an expert in the field of calcium. He's also the author of two books, The Calcium Factor and Death by Diet. Mr. Barefoot, since we first had you on the program, I've read your books and I've become even more excited about what Coral Calcium can mean to our listeners. First off, can you explain to me why calcium is so important and why it's called "The King of the Bioelements?"

Well, it's the most predominant mineral in your body by far, more than twice as much as the next mineral, and therefore, biologically it literally has hundreds and hundreds of functions. We can't live without it. As we get on in life, we stop consuming calcium products, and by the age of 35, you'll find that we have more calcium going out than going in, and we're in trouble because all these calcium biological functions can't work properly.

However, the body has a defense mechanism. We store calcium, and the first storage is the bones. So if you don't have enough calcium, you go to the bones and get it, go to the cells and get it, and the result of depleting the calcium storage is disease.

I would like to point out that there's over 200 degenerative diseases caused by calcium deficiency. That includes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, you name it, and it's rather interesting that the April, 1996 issue of Reader's Digest, "Calcium: The Magic Mineral" article even went so far as to tell people that had kidney stones, which have calcium, and gallstones, which have calcium, that the correct procedure is to consume MORE calcium, because they're caused by calcium deficiency. This is diametrically opposed to medical advice today.

I noticed that you also have referred to calcium as the "glue" that holds everything together.

Well, basically, it is. It's the biological glue that holds the body together. It's actually intertwined in everything in the body. It IS the biological glue.

When you stop and think about relatively at least 200 diseases that have been directly linked to a calcium deficient body, then I guess the next question that I have to ask is, if I don't have enough calcium and I've got my system running all over my body trying to find calcium and draw it to places that it's needed, how do I replenish it? What do I do to get it back? The body doesn't make anymore, is that correct?

You deplete calcium. When calcium goes out, calcium has to come in. The bottom line is, is that you need an external source. Of course, there's lots of places to get it. You can drink a gallon to two gallons of milk a day, but of course most people, as you grow older, won't do that. Or, you have another choice. You can have 23 pounds of spinach along with 17 pounds of broccoli. That'll do it every day. Of course, people won't do that.

I had cabbage for supper tonight, but I don't think I could eat that much.

Well, you need something like 20 to 30 pounds of it to get the appropriate amount of calcium. So you see, you can't really get what you want just simply by eating. But you know, those cultures that actually get huge amounts, they get it externally, usually from their water as their food source where there's huge amounts of calcium in the system. We don't have that. So there are other sources, of course, you've heard of supplements.

Well, supplements do work. They are so effective that a study done by the University of San Diego medical faculty just released last year a 25-year study on 19,000 men and women, and they discovered that those who had vitamin and mineral supplements cut the death rate in half simply by taking supplements. So you can take calcium as a supplement. You go to the store and you can buy calcium tablets, calcium this and calcium that. Boy, calcium's the hottest thing on television. Everybody's putting calcium in their product.

But there's a problem. And that is, we're not all the same. As we grow older, we become biologically deficient in certain things. For example, the average man or woman at 60 years old has one-fifth the hydrochloric acid in their stomach than they did when they were 20. What this means, when you put the supplements in your stomach, they have to be digested and ionized with this acid. Quite often, they don't have enough acid to do the job and/or if they use the acid for this, they don't have enough acid left for digestive purposes of nutrients. So, there are alternatives. You want pre-ionized. Of course, the best form of pre-ionized calcium in the world is a substance called Coral Calcium.

I've heard a lot about this, but before I get into that, there's something else I really need to find out from you. What relationship does calcium have to other vitamins and minerals?

Well, a vitamin is sort of like the catalyst for the mineral. In other words, with a trace amount of a vitamin, it allows the minerals to be absorbed and to work properly. With calcium, the key vitamin is Vitamin D. You need approximately 5,000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D in your intestine. Otherwise, you just pass 95% of it through into your excretion.

I do have one question about Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs). Your nutritional recommendations exceed the RDAs of not only calcium but other nutrients as well. Is it possible to get too much?

When I give my speeches to people, what I like to tell them is there are seven major cultures in the world that never, ever, ever get sick. They never get cancer, they never get heart disease, they never get diabetes. They have no doctors. These people live 30, 40 years longer, and they don't grow old. What's the common denominator? One hundred times the RDA of everything. So they're taking 100 times the RDA. They take so much, they get all they need and the body passes what it doesn't need.

In our society, we're so terrified of something that no one has ever been injured or hurt with or one has ever died from. But because of the drug scene and because those who are advising us are the pill pushers, they're very nervous about taking anything. The way I like to tell people is, "Look, it's natural. Drugs are made by man. Vitamins and minerals were made by God. You're going to have to decide who knew what he was doing. The FDA, the pill pushers, or God?"

Really. I guess as you referred to earlier with calcium being the king of all vital elements, that calcium is the center by which these things revolve around and with the proper calcium and Vitamin D, the other vitamins and minerals work better and absorbed better into the body. Is that correct?

Absolutely. See, one of calcium's crucial functions is it actually has the capability of latching onto seven nutrients and one water. It does this outside the cell. So it other grabs those vitamins and nutrients and it pulls them into the nutrient channel into the cell where the cell can consume them. And then the calcium exits through a little tiny calcium channel and does it again, and does it again. In other words, it collects nutrients to pull into the cell. No calcium, no nutrients. So you see how they're all interlinked, they all work together.

How much calcium does the body actually absorb when the supplements are not in an ionic or chelated form?

Very little. Less than 5%. I tell people they about 3,000 mg of calcium, but in reality, they're probably likely to only absorb a quarter of that.

How much does the body absorb when you DO use a chelated calcium?

Chelated calcium is far, far more absorbable. That doesn't mean 100%. It might go from 5% to 20% to 30%, something like that.

We've been hearing a lot lately about somewhat of a new find called Coral Calcium. I understand the Coral Calcium does a much better job of allowing the body to absorb. Is that correct?

What it is, it's readily bioavailable. What that means is, first off, it's pre-ionized. You do not have to digest it. It's calcium plus plus ions. You put the little sachet in the water and it dissolves in the water. It's calcium plus plus. So when you absorb it, you do not have to use your stomach acid, so that is especially wonderful for the elderly. But it's not only calcium that goes in. It's magnesium, chromium, copper, selenium, all the trace elements you find in the ocean, all ionized.

The thing about Coral Calcium is it has four microbes. These microbes latch on to these minerals and they whip through the stomach, they whip through the duodenum, and smack into the liver, and they do it all within 10 minutes. The normal route is ten hours. We can prove this simply by taking a blood sample before and, usually what happens when you're oxygen deficient (most people are because they lack minerals), without the minerals their body fluids are acidic and that expels oxygen. When you look at the blood, you'll see the cells clustering in a big clump. You take the Coral Calcium and then take a blood sample, 10 minutes later all the cells are spread apart, full of oxygen.

People will tell you, "Boy, I feel something. I don't know what it is, but I feel something." They all say that within a few minutes of consuming it. That's what I mean by readily bioavailable. Nothing else will do that.

If I understand you correctly, essentially the ionic Coral Calcium has approximately 100% absorption rate?

Yes, well, let's say you take your Tums and you get your 5% if you're lucky. So out of a Tum, which is a gram, you get 400 milligrams. And you get 5% of 400 milligrams...

Okay, let me see. I want to make sure that I understand all of these terms correctly. Calcium is the natural element that our body needs. Period. As the glue to hold everything together and as the element that makes the other vitamins and minerals absorbable.

And one more crucial factor. That is, it is the key to maintain caustic body fluids, and that is crucial. Caustic body fluids are able to fill up oxygen. In other words, a very mild caustic will absorb 20 times as much oxygen as a very mild acid. Therefore, the calcium keeps your body so full of oxygen that it wards off virus, disease, and things like cancer, according to two time Nobel Prize winner, Otto Warburg. That's how it works. And it was the calcium that did it.

Okay, so that's the calcium. Then the ionic element or part of this whole puzzle. Explain ionic in layman terms so that I understand the correlation between them and then we'll get to adding in the coral part.

If you look at a Tum, it's not calcium. It's a calcium carbonate. It's calcium with CO2 added to it. It's a compound. If you add some acid to it, then you digest it and bust it up and so when it's in a glass, it disappears. That means it's ionized.

So the ionic, then, is basically already dissolved calcium so that it's easy to ingest.

Yes, that's correct.

Then the coral part, that brings in the ocean elements and the other benefits that we've seen in places overseas. I've heard of several studies that have been done on folks, for example, in Okinawa that use Coral Calcium just as a regular part of their daily diet and their phenomenal effects. In fact, some of them, it's almost hard to believe how long some of the folks have lived.

Yes, up to 140 years and going. The reason we can't say more is because that puts us back at 1857, and we didn't even keep census then, so all we had was maybe little names on bibles. But the bottom line is, these people DO live that long. One of the reasons is because sometimes they have sons who are 120 years old and their sons are 100 years old, and there ARE records for those, so you know that the great-great-great grandpa HAS to be 140, 150.

One thing I'd like to tell your listeners is that when we talk about Coral Calcium, everybody thinks that they're mining the coral reefs and that's just not true. What it is is that Okinawa is just an island of coral. The coral disintegrates with weathering and falls and forms coral sand. This coral sand sort of pats off the coral reefs and almost kills them. What the Japanese do is they go in there and they mine up the disintegrated sands from the coral and actual clean up the coral reefs. The Japanese government will not allow them to touch the coral itself. All they're doing is cleaning them up. There's a huge resource.

I've heard you mention in brief the cancer connection to calcium and also the heart disease connection. Let's talk for just a moment, because those are some of the big killers, but when it comes to aging: osteoporosis, menopause, what other things that we see in our lives that the calcium has a direct effect on?

Well, you were getting in to so many things there, but when you said menopause, I think back to the Reader's Digest article and they virtually said that 92% of hysterectomies wouldn't be necessary with calcium supplements. PMS is crucial. EVERYthing biologically is tied to the calcium. If you have aches and pains, it's calcium. If you have osteoporosis, it's calcium. If you age prematurely, that's calcium too. And we can get in and explain in detail with molecules exactly how it works. It's technically and scientifically verifiable that calcium is the crucial element in preventing all these things. For example, take heart disease. Everyone blames cholesterol, but it absolutely has nothing to do with heart disease. What happens is when the body becomes acidic, the muscle around the artery gets holes in it. Acid eats holes in muscle. In order to protect the body, it starts hardening. The body hardens the area and a hardened artery would crack, and cholesterol comes along and seals the crack, saves your life, and it's called "guilty found at the scene of the crime."

If cholesterol were involved, you would have hardening of the veins. But no vein has ever hardened, so it's the muscle tissue. And that's the only difference between a vein and an artery, is the muscle tissue. And it's the disintegration of muscle tissue, and, boy, I can tell you now that the scientific community is waking up to this. Reports and publications by medical doctors and scientists are saying that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, that it is just acid.

Now, what caused the acid? Here we go again. Had they had their calcium, the buffers would have kept the acid out and the oxygen in, and they would never have heart disease.

Okay, I don't want to go stretching too far into the outer limits here, but also understand that our bodies are basically electrical charges: positives, negatives, pH. For example, you hear of pH in a battery. You've got a pH balance. So, what relationship, then, does calcium have to the natural electrical impulses that our body puts off?

I'll give you one example. All the electricity produced for the heartbeat is from the calcium battery.

You're kidding!

No. And the same thing is true for the lungs. All the electrical movement for the lungs. And all the electrical movement of the muscle is from the calcium battery.

So what you're telling me is that if I have a muscle cramp, it's probably from lack of calcium?

Sure. And within a couple of days the cramp disappears as long as you're taking calcium properly. That happens to so many people. When they've had aches and pains for years, two days later there's nothing. They say, "It's a miracle!" Well, there are no miracles here. This is just the way Mother Nature was supposed to work. Mother Nature assumed you would be consuming the nutrients you needed, especially calcium.

I have to admit, within the last week or so since you and I first talked and I have been interested in this topic for some time already anyway, in fact, we went out and bought some calcium to give this thing a try. The thing that we found the most frustrating, because I did have your material and I was looking for the ionic Coral Calcium. Guess what? It's not readily available out there that I can find. Not in that form. I mean, I can find calcium in every grocery store and drug store.

Well, let's step back. In 1790, the very first drugstore was created in Europe. The drug stores we know today dispensing drugs? They were doing other things, but do you know what the very first drug was in the world? Coral Calcium. It was so popular. Every doctor prescribed it, they cured this, they cured that.

So what happened?

That was over 200 years ago. Well, we have all kinds of cures that we put in the wastebasket and then we focus on disease. Disease is very profitable; cures aren't. Anyway, the bottom line is, all other cultures know and the Japanese people have sources, they actually mine it and ship it. The rest of the world is not tuned to this. It has spread; it's in Europe now and there are millions of people in Europe, France, Sweden, England and now Spain that are consuming Coral Calcium. Coral Calcium has just come to America. My guess is there's only about a quarter million to a third of a million people currently consuming the Coral Calcium. It just got here. On top of that, I predict by the year 2000, over 10 million people will be on it because it DOES work. It has hundreds of years of history. There's no question. Millions of testimonials. It's safe. Even though it was the world's first drug, it's NOT a drug. It's actually a nutrient.

Okay, I guess the final question that I have for you tonight... Say, for example, I'm someone listening and I do have hardening of the arteries. Are we talking about the possibilities of reversing, say, "reverse the curse" in a way? Can we turn the depletion of calcium around?

Absolutely. All these diseases were caused by acidosis. Acidification of the body. The bottom line is, the cause of acidosis and the reason for acidosis is lack of minerals, especially calcium. When you start taking the calcium, your body does alkalize, drives out the acid. Dr. Otto Warburg won two Nobel Prizes for proving this. You also grow younger. You look younger, you feel younger when you fill up with oxygen.

Pick a disease. You can cure it. I've seen diabetics off insulin in a few months. I've seen recently in Denver a woman who had MS and she was in a wheelchair for 27 years. Three months ago she started on Coral Calcium and all the other nutrients and she now runs nine miles a day. Now, you want to see miracles, just stick around the Coral Calcium and you'll be hearing about hundreds of them.

Okay. I said that was my last question, and I lied. I'm sorry. Because this just dawned on me. One of the major crises as far as our physical health in America is obesity. Are we talking about a possibility of a calcium deficiency?

Calcium is so intertwined with all your biological activity.

Your metabolism affects your weight...

Of course. But I'll just give you one thing. Let's say you have a pair of twins. One of the twins consumes a lot of Coral Calcium. Then they both sit down and consume a lot of fat for obesity. Now, I can tell you when the fat gets in the stomach and starts being digested, the twin with the calcium, the fat sees that calcium and it soaponifies. It's like grandma, how she used to make her soaps. She used fat and lye to make soap. So it then forms a soap. This soap will not be absorbed by the intestines, so it passes into excretion. So the net result is, the twin with the calcium didn't take in the fat; the twin without the calcium took in the fat.

And if you don't take it in, you can't put it on.

That's right. So a lot of time, it's not what you're eating that's the problem. It's what you're NOT eating that causes most of the problem in America. The calcium helps keep the fat out, keep all your biological functions working, and you can't really stay trim without it.

That is fascinating. Well, I know we haven't solved all of the world's problems tonight, however, I know we've solved a number of them for everyone listening.

Well, we're on our first step to curing America.

Yes we are. Mr. Robert Barefoot, I thank you very, very much for being with us tonight, and I look forward to speaking to you again soon.


Coral color ranges from white to red. It grows in branches that look like underwater trees. Beautiful coral jewelry is made and worn in many parts of the world, most coral is found in the Mediterranean Sea or in the Pacific, the most valuable colors of coral are red, black, and pink which is known as angel skin coral. Coral in the form of coral stone and gold jewelry is among the most ancient of gem materials, coral jewelry has been made in many parts of the world and used for adornment since prehistoric times. Coral inlays and coral jewelry have been found from the Iron Age. Coral has a history of religious significance.

1. Tibetan Lamas use coral rosaries, Coral is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures, Coral Jewelry worn against the skin, touching it, was long thought to be powerful talisman that could stop bleeding, protect from evil spirits, and ward of hurricanes.

To clean Coral jewelry, wipe it gently with a moist soft cloth, as Coral is much softer than other gem materials with a hardness of only 3.5. As a result it should be stored carefully to avoid scratches. Coral is also porous so care should be taken to see that coral jewelry does not come in contact with chemicals.


Coral Life Story

Diet and Eating Habits A. Food.

Some corals eat zooplankton (tiny drifting animals) or small fishes. Others consume organic debris. Many reef- building corals derive their nutrition from zoonxanthellae.


B. Method of eating.

1. Coral polyps are generally nocturnal feeders. At night, they extend their tentacles to capture food with the aid of nematocysts.

2. Some corals secret films or strands of mucus to collect fine organic particles.

3. In reef-building corals, to mobile filaments originating from the stomach cavity can capture larger food particles. These filaments are also capable of digestion.


C. Nutrient transfer.

The stomach cavities of colonial corals are interconnected. Food obtained by one polyp can be passed to other polyps in the colony.


D. Waste excretion.

A polyp excretes solid wastes through its mouth.


Adaptations for an Aquatic Environment

A. Attachment.

Most coral polyps attach themselves to a hard substrate and remain there for life.

B. Symbiosis.


1. Reef-building corals have a mutualistic relationship with zooxanthellae, microscopic algae that live with coral polyp's tissues. Both the polyp and the zooanthellae benefit. For this reason, reef-building corals are found only in areas where symbiotic zooxanthellae can take in light for photosynthesis.


2. Through photosynthesis, zooxanthellae convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates. The coral polyp uses carbohydrates as a nutrient. The polyp also uses oxygen for respiration and in turns, returns carbon dioxide to the zooxanthella. Through this exchange, coral saves energy that would otherwise be used to eliminate the carbon dioxide.


3. Nitrogen and phosphorus are cycled between zooxanthellae and coral polyps. For example, zooxanthellae take in ammonia given off as waste by the polyp, and return amino acids.


4. Zooxanthellae also promote polyp calcification by removing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Under optimum conditions, this enhanced calcification builds the reef faster than it can be eroded by physical or physical or biological factors.


C. Toxins.

1. Certain toxic compounds in soft corals (Order Alcyonacea) may make the corals unappetizing and deter predators.

2. Corals compete for living space on the reef. Some soft corals secrete toxins to eliminate competitors. Some reef-building corals can actually digest the tissue of an invading coral.



A. Reproductive modes.

Corals can reproduce both sexually and asexually. An individual polyp may use both reproductive modes within its lifetime.

B. Sexual reproduction.


1. Corals reproduce sexually by either internal or external fertilization. The reproductive cells are borne on mesenteries (membranes) that radiate inward from the layer of tissue that lines the stomach cavity.

a. Internally fertilized eggs are brooded by the polyp for days to weeks. Free-swimming larvae are released into the water and settle within hours.

b. Externally fertilized eggs develop while adrift. After a few days, fertilized eggs develop into free-swimming larvae. Larvae settle within hours to days.


2. Some corals are hermaphroditic (having both male and female reproductive cells). Others are either male or female. Both sexes can occur in a colony, or a colony may consist of individuals of the same sex.


3. Synchronous spawning occurs in many corals. Polyps release eggs and sperm into the water at the same time. This spawning method disperses eggs over a larger area. Synchronous spawning depends on four factors: time of the year, water temperature, and tidal and lunar cycles.

a. Spawning is most successful when there is little variation between high and low tides. The less water movement over the reef, the better the chance that an egg will be fertilized.

b. At least one-third of the reef-building corals of the Great Barrier Reef are synchronous spawners. These corals spawn (release eggs) annually in the spring. Spawning occurs on the third through sixth nights after a full moon. Larvae usually settle in four to ten days.


4. Once the larva settles on a substrate, it develops into a polyp. Some scientists believe that most larvae settle within 2,000 ft. (600 m) of the parent reef. Others contend that some larvae travel longer distances. Research is ongoing.


C. Asexual reproduction.

1. Environmental disturbances may dislodge some polyps or portions of colonies from the parent colony and deposit them on another part of the reef.


2. Sometimes, newly developing coral colonies split and form separate colonies.


3. Often a polyp produced by sexual reproduction initiates growth of a colony asexually by budding. Budding occurs when a portion of the parent polyp pinches off to form a new individual. Budding enables the polyp to replicate itself several times and at the same time maintain tissue connections within the colony. Later, the same polyp may reproduce sexually.


Budding occurs when a portion of the parent polyp pinches off to form a new individual.


D. Growth.


1. Coral colonies growing in shallow water are often heavily branched. In contrast, deeper water corals often grow in sheets or plates. These flattened forms allow for more efficient use of lower light intensities in deeper waters.

2. The growth rate of corals and coral reefs depends on factors such as light intensity, water temperature, salinity, turbidity, food availability, competition for space, and predation. Upward growth of coral colonies is generally between 0.5 to 4 in. (1-10 cm) a year.


Anatomy and Physiology


A. Colonial corals.

Individual coral polyps within a colony are connected by common tissue.

B. Skeleton.

1. Octocorallians have an internal skeleton. Some internal skeletons contain calcareous spicules. Spicules are either scattered of fused. They stiffen and protect the polyps. Other octocorallians have internal skeletons made of protein.

2. Reef-building corals secrete an external skeletal cup of calcium carbonate. This skeletal cup protects the polyp: when the polyp contracts, it's almost completely inside the skeletal cup. The stomach cavity of reef-building corals also contains radiating calcareous walls. These walls extend up form the polyp's base and reinforce the skeleton.


When the polyp contracts, it's almost completely inside the skeletal cup.


C. Digestive system.


1. The mouth leads into the stomach cavity.

2. The stomach cavity is partitioned by longitudinal membranes called mesenteries.


The stomach cavity is partitioned by longitudinal membranes called mesenteries.

a. Mesenteries increase the surface area of the stomach cavity, which aids in digestion.

b. The edges of the mesenteries in reef-building corals support long mobile filaments. These mesentery filaments can protrude through the mouth to capture food.

c. Mesenteries also contain the reproductive cells.


D. Respiration.

Respiration (gas exchange) takes place through the body surface.


Coral Reefs A. Reef composition.

1. Hard corals build by secreting calcium carbonate skeletons.

2. Boring organisms such as sponges, worms, and bivalves; along with grazers such as parrotfish and sea urchins break down the coral skeletons. Borers and grazers usually attack dead coral. The resulting sediment settles into spaces in the reef.

3. Coralline algae, encrusting bryozoans, and minerals cement the dead organic matter, stabilizing the reef structure.


B. Reef formation and types of reefs.

1. At one time it was mistakenly thought that coral grew at the bottom of deep tropical seas and succeeding generations grew on top of the dead calcium carbonate skeletons. This idea was dispelled by dredging operations that indicated that reef corals were able to grow only in shallow water.

2. Naturalist Charles Darwin's theory of coral formation is widely accepted. This theory recognizes three types of reefs: the fringing reef, the barrier reef, and the atoll.


a. The first type is a fringing reef. Fringing reefs border shorelines of continents and islands in tropical seas. Fringing reefs are commonly found in the South Pacific Hawaiian Islands, and parts of the Caribbean.


b. The next type is the barrier reef, which occurs farther offshore. Barrier reefs form when land masses sink, and fringing reefs become separated from shorelines by wide channels. Land masses sink as a result of erosion and shifting crustal plates of the earth. (Crustal plates lift or sink the seafloor and adjacent land masses.) Barrier reefs are common in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. The Great Barrier Reef off northern Australia in the Indo-Pacific is the largest barrier reef in the world. This reef stretches more than 1,240 miles (2,000 km).


c. If the land mass is a small island, it may eventually disappear below the ocean surface, and the reef becomes an atoll. Atolls are reefs that surround a central lagoon. The result is several low coral islands around a lagoon. Atolls commonly occur in the Indo- Pacific. The largest atoll, named Kwajalein, surrounds a lagoon over 60 miles (97 km) long.


There are three types of coral reefs.

3. Existing coral reefs have been formed since the last of three glacial periods in the Pleistocene epoch, 10,000 years ago. Seawater trapped as ice in enormous glaciers caused sea level to fall. Consequently, all previously formed coral reefs probably died from exposure. When the glaciers melted, sea level rose to its current position and present-day reefs began to develop.


A. Interactions and energy.

The coral reef ecosystem is a diverse collection of species that interact with each other and the physical environment. The sun is the initial source of energy for this ecosystem. Through photosynthesis, phytoplankton, algae, and other plants convert light energy into chemical energy. As animals eat plants or other animals, a portion of this energy is passed on.


B. Coral reef animals.

1. Sponges have been a part of the coral reef ecosystem from early on. Several species of these porous animals inhabit reefs. Sponges provide shelter for fishes, shrimps, crabs, and other small animals. They appear in a variety of shapes and colors.

2. Sea anemones are close relatives of corals. Indo- Pacific reef anemones are known for their symbiotic relationships with clownfish and anemonefishes. An anemone's tentacles provide refuge for these fishes and their eggs. In return, anemonefishes may protect the anemone from predators such as butterflyfishes. Anemonefishes may even remove parasites from their host anemones.

3. Bryozoans encrust the reef. These microscopic invertebrates from branching colonies over coral skeletons and reef debris, cementing the reef structure.

4. The reef is also home to a variety of worms, including both flatworms and polychaetes. Flatworms live in crevices in the reef. Some polychaetes such as Christmas tree worms and feather duster worms bore into coral skeletons. Other familiar species include bristleworms.


The coral reef ecosystem is a diverse collection of species that interact with each other and the physical environment.


5. Sea stars, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins live on the reef. The crown-of-thorns sea star is a well- known predator of coral polyps. Large numbers of these sea stars can devastate reefs, leaving behind only the calcium carbonate skeletons. In dead reefs, recently killed by the crown-of-thorns sea star, larger food and game fish are almost totally absent. Even deep-sea fish populations may be affected by this breakdown in the food chain.

6. Shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans find protection from predators in crevices or between coral branches. Crustaceans are also predators. The coral crab crushes sea urchins and clams with its strong claws. The banded coral shrimp is an example of a cleaner shrimp. It removes parasites and dead skin from reef fishes.


7. Octopuses, squids, clams, scallops, marine snails, and nudibranchs are all molluscs that live on or near the reef. Many feed by filtering food particles from the water. Carnivorous snails are capable of drilling holes into clams or other shelled animals and then eating them. One of the largest molluscs on the reef is the giant clam. This clam may reach a length of 4 ft. (1.2 m).


8. Both schooling and solitary fishes are essential residents of the reef ecosystem. Fishes play a vital role in the reef's food web, acting as both predators and prey. Their leftover food scraps and wastes provide food or nutrients for other reef inhabitants.



a. Some species of sharks, skates, and rays live on or near the reef. Others swim in to eat. Shark species include lemon, nurse, Pacific blacktip, white-tipped reef, and zebra sharks. These sharks as well as rays generally eat crabs, shrimps, squids, clams, and small fishes.


b. Parrotfish use chisel-like teeth to nibble on hard corals. These fish are herbivores and eat the algae within the coral. They grind the coral's exoskeleton to get the algae, and defecate sand. A single parrotfish can produce about five tons of sand per year.


c. Wrasses comprise a large group of colorful cigar-shaped fishes. Some species are known as cleaners, and set up cleaning stations along the reef. When a larger fish aligns itself at one of these cleaning stations, a cleaner wrasse removes parasites from the fish.


d. Eels are one of the reef's top predators. These fishes live in crevices in the reef and venture out at night to hunt and feed. They have sharp teeth set in a powerful jaw. Eels eat small fishes, octopuses, shrimps, and crabs.


e. Other fishes found on the reefs include angelfishes, butterflyfishes, damselfishes, triggerfishes, seahorses, snappers, squirrelfishes, grunts, pufferfishes, groupers, barracudas, and scorpionfishes.


9. Some sea turtles frequent reef areas. Green, loggerhead, and hawksbill sea turtles live in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef.


10. Sea snakes are rarely found on reefs but do inhabit the waters around reefs in the Indo-Pacific. They possess small fangs but inject a potent venom.

Longevity and Causes of Death


A. Longevity.

Little is known about the lifespan of corals. Generally, coral colonies may live for several decades to centuries.

B. Predators.

1. Coral polyps face many predators including parrotfishes, butterflyfishes, and sea stars.

2. During the larval stage, corals are particularly subject to predation. They may also drift into areas where the substrate isn't suitable for coral growth.


C. Human interaction.

1. Ocean pollution poisons coral polyps. Pollution takes on many forms including oil slicks, pesticides and other chemicals, heavy metals, and garbage.

2. Fertilizer runoff and untreated sewage introduce added nutrients to coastal ecosystems. These elevated nutrient levels promote algae growth. Unfortunately, high concentrations of algae or solid sewage can overwhelm and smother the polyps. Under normal conditions, herbivores fish and some invertebrates keep the algae population in check.

3. Deforestation degrades more than just land habitats. When tropical forests are cut down to clear land for agriculture, pasture, or homes, topsoil washes down rivers into coastal ecosystems. Soil that settles on reefs smothers coral polyps and blocks out the sunlight needed for corals to live.

4. Coastal development and dredging ravages reefs. This development includes building seaside homes, hotels, and harbors.

5. Fishing with dynamite, cyanide, or bleach has killed coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. Between 1986 and 1991, half of the coral reefs in the Philippines have been demolished by these and other destructive fishing methods.

6. Besides fishes, fishermen harvest a variety of exotic seafood from the reef including conchs and lobsters. Overharvesting could lead to these species' demise. Careless handling of nets, lines, and lobster traps has led to some reef damage.

7. International seashell and aquarium trades have put a strain on coral reefs and reef inhabitants. Excessive collecting decimates reef species and upsets the balance of the reef ecosystems. Careful monitoring of these trades will help make sure that the demand for reef species doesn't exceed the sustainable supply.


a. The souvenir trade has created an international market for coral skeletons, shells, sponges, and other reef animals. In 1990, the world consumption of corals for the souvenir trade was estimated at 2,200 tons a year. Coral skeletons are used for decoration aquariums, or fashioned into jewelry and sculptures.


b. Coral skeletons are also sold as "live rock". Live rock is popular in home saltwater aquariums because it is permeated with living bacteria and algae and acts a natural biological filter.


c. The tropical fish trade has created a demand for reef fishes. These attractive fishes are popular in saltwater aquariums.


8. Careless water recreationist damage reefs. Divers and snorklers that stand on, sit on, or handle corals can injure the delicate polyps. Dropped boat anchors can gouge the reef and crush corals. (Boaters should be very careful when navigating around the coral reefs. Anchors shouldn't be dropped directly on the reef, but on a near-by sandy area. Divers should rest by floating or standing on the sandy bottom. They should be very careful not to grab on to any coral formations.)


D. Natural disasters.

1. Changes in sea level are detrimental to established corals and reefs.

a. A drop in sea level exposes corals.

b. A rise in sea level decreases the amount of available sunlight and may inhibit growth. Added emissions of carbon dioxide and other trace gases (called greenhouse gases) into our atmosphere may be causing a gradual warming of our planet. This warming could cause the polar ice caps to melt, thereby raising sea level.


c. Rises in sea level can also release nutrients trapped in soil.

2. Coral diseases can wipe out entire strands of coral reefs. Diseases may be connected to the sea level rise and nutrient level increase.

3. Coral bleaching occurs when coral expels its symbiotic zooxanthellae. As a result, the coral loses its coloration. Without zooxanthellae, the coral polyps have little energy available for growth or reproduction. Scientists aren't sure why bleaching occurs. Hypotheses include elevated water temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, and diseases or viruses affecting the zooxanthellae.

4. Major tropical storms can strip corals from miles of reef habitat.


APPENDIX: Classification

Class Anthozoa Subclass Octocorallia (or Alcyonaria)


Order Stolonifera (organ-pipe coral and tree fern coral)

Order Telestacea (Telesto)

Order Alcyonacea (soft corals such as leather corals and tree corals)

Order Coenothecalia (Indo-Pacific blue coral)

Order Gorgonacea (gorgonian corals including sea fans, red coral, sea whips, and sea feathers) Order Pennatulacea (sea pens and sea pansies)


Subclass Zoantharia

Order Zoanthidea (anemonelike anthozoans)

Order Actiniaria (sea anemones)

Order Scleractinia or Madreporaria (reef-building corals such as star corals, brain corals, staghorn corals, mushroom corals, and bubble corals)

Order Rugosa or Tetracoralla (extinct solitary corals)

Order Corallimorpharia (resemble true corals but lack skeletons)

Order Ceriantharia (anemonelike anthozoans)

Order Antipatharia (black corals)


Subclass Tabulata (extinct colonial anthozoans)


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Derr, Mark. "Raiders of the Reef." Audubon 94 (2), 1992.

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FitzGerald, Lisa M. "Building Coral Bones." Sea Frontiers 38 (1), 1992.

Gillett, Keith. The Australian Great Barrier Reef in Colour. Sydney: A.H. & A. W. Reed Pty Ltd., 1980.

Glynn, Peter W. and Gerald M. Wellington. Corals and Coral Reefs of the Galapagos Islands. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

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Goals of the Sea World Education Department


Based on a long-term commitment to education, Sea World strives to provide an enthusiastic, imaginative, and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to help students reach their academic potential. Specifically, our goals are..




•To instill in students of all ages an appreciation for science and a respect for all living creatures and natural environments. •To conserve our valuable resources by increasing awareness of the interrelationships of humans and the marine environment. •To increase students' basic competencies in science and other disciplines. •To provide an educational resource for the entire community.




"For in the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." --B. Dioum


The ocean and its inhabitants fascinate us, and this fascination leads to a quest of knowledge and deeper understanding. Although it is our intent to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available, it is possible that some of this information may change as research continues and new discoveries are made. The nature of science is ever-changing. Scientific Classification




A. Phylum--Cnidaria (formerly Coelenterata).




This diverse invertebrate (invertebrates are animals without spinal columns) group includes corals, sea anemones, hydras, jellyfishes, and their relatives. All cnidarians are radially symmetrical (the body is symmetrical around a central axis), lack a head, usually have a crown of tentacles around the mouth, and possess nematocysts . About 9,000 living species are known.



B. Class--Anthozoa.


1. Anthozoans include corals, sea anemones, sea pens, and sea pansies. These animals are either solitary or colonial polyps that live attached to a substrate (surface). Of the 6,000 known anthozoan species, corals comprise about 2,500 species.


2. The Class Anthozoa is further divided into three subclasses: Octocorallia, Zoantharia, and Tabulata (extinct colonial corals).






a. Subclass Octocorallia. Polyps are characterized by having eight pinnate (side- branching) tentacles. Octocorallians include gorgonian corals, sea pens, sea pansies, organ- pipe corals, and soft corals (order Alcyonacea). Most are colonial.


b. Subclass Zoantharia. Polyps are characterized by having tentacles in multiples of six. Zoantharian tentacles are rarely pinnate. Black corals and reef-building corals (order Scleractinia) are members of this subclass. Reef-building corals are also known as "hard corals" or "stony corals." Zoantharians may be either solitary or colonial.








Octocorallians (left) have eight pinnate tentacles.

Zooantharians (right) have tentacles in multiples of six.


3. In this resource, the term "corals," refers to both Octocorallians and Zoantharians unless otherwise noted.


C. Orders.


For a list of Anthozoan orders in their subclasses, see the appendix.


D. Fire coral.


Fire or stinging coral is not a true coral. It is a hydrocoral (Class Hydrozoa). Hydrocorals are not discussed in this booklet.


E. Fossil history.


1. The earliest reefs developed two billion years ago in the mid- to late Precambrian era. These reefs were built by colonies of calcareous algae, not corals.


2. Corals, sponges, bryozoans, and calcareous algae enhanced the growing reef community in the Paleozoic era, 245 to 570 million years ago. During this era, natural environmental changes led to periodic reef demise.


3. Hard corals developed into the prominent reef builders during the Mesozoic era, 65 to 245 million years ago. Coral reefs flourished until a devastating demise at the end of the era, when many coral families disappeared.


4. The species of corals that made up the reefs of the Tertiary period, 2 to 65 million years ago, were similar to today's species. Habitat and Distribution




A. Distribution.


1. Various species of corals are found in all oceans of the world, from the tropics to the polar regions.



Coral reefs are generally found within 30*N and 30*S latitudes.


2. Reef-building corals are scattered throughout the tropical and subtropical Western Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans, generally within 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S latitudes.






a. Western Atlantic reefs include these areas: Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean Islands, Belize, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico.


b. The Indo-Pacific ocean region extends from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf through the Indian and Pacific oceans to the western coast of Panama. Corals grow on rocky outcrops in some areas of the Gulf of California.






B. Habitat requirements.


1. Although various types of corals can be found from the water's surface to depths of 19,700 ft. (6,000 m), reef- building corals are generally found at depths of less than 150 ft (46 m), where sunlight penetrates. Because reef- building corals have a symbiotic relationship with a type of microscopic algae, sunlight is necessary for these corals to thrive and grow.






a. Reefs tend to grow faster in clear water. Clear water allows light to reach the symbiotic algae living within the coral polyp's tissue. Many scientists believe that the algae, called zooxanthellae, promote polyp calcification. See symbiosis for more information on this algae and its relationship with coral.


b. Light-absorbing adaptations enable some reef- building corals to live in dim blue light.






2. Reef-building corals require warm ocean temperatures (68 to 82 F, or 20 to 28 C). Warm water flows along the eastern shores of major land masses.


3. Reef development is generally more abundant in areas that are subject to strong wave action. Waves carry food, nutrients, and oxygen to the reef; distribute coral larvae; and prevent sediment from settling on the coral reef.


4. Precipitation of calcium from the water is necessary to form a coral polyp's skeleton. This precipitation occurs when water temperature and salinity are high and carbon dioxide concentrations are low. These conditions are typical of shallow, warm tropical waters.


5. Most corals grow on a hard substrate. Physical Characteristics




A. Body shape.




A coral polyp is a tubular saclike animal with a central mouth surrounded by a ring of tentacles. The end opposite the tentacles, called the base, is attached to the substrate.



B. Size


1. Depending on the species, coral polyps may measure less than an inch to several inches in diameter (a few millimeters to several centimeters).






a. One of the largest corals, Fungia (mushroom coral), is a solitary coral that can extend 10 in. (25 cm) in diameter.


b. Colonial coral polyps are much smaller and average 0.04 to 0.12 in. (1-3 mm) in diameter.






2. Coral colonies also vary in size. Some corals form only small colonies. Others may form colonies several feet (a few meters) high. Star coral (Montastrea annularis) colonies reach an average height of 10 to 13 ft. (3-4m).



A coral polyp is a tubular saclike animal.


C. Color.


1. Natural pigments in coral tissue produce a range of colors including white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.




2. Colored calcareous spicules (needle-shaped structures) give some octocorallians their colors.


3. Algae that live within the tissues of some corals may make the coral appear brown, green, or orange.


D. Tentacles.


1. Tentacles are for defense and for moving food to the mouth.


2. Depending on the subclass, a coral polyp's tentacles are arranged in multiples of six or eight.


3. The tentacles contain microscopic stinging capsules called nematocysts. A nematocyst is a bulbous double-walled structure containing a spirally folded, venom-filled thread with a minute barb at its tip. A tiny sensor projects outside the nematocyst. When the sensor is stimulated physically or chemically, the capsule explodes and ejects the thread with considerable force and speed. The barb penetrates the victim's skin and injects a potent venom.



A nematocyst contains a spirally folded, venom-filled thread. When the sensor is stimulated, the capsule explodes and ejects the thread. Senses




A. Nervous system.




Corals lack a brain but have a simple nervous system called a nerve net. The nerve net extends from the mouth to the tentacles.



B. Chemoreception.




Polyps can detect certain substances such as sugars and amino acids. This sense, similar to our senses of smell and taste, enables corals to detect prey.



C. Nematocyst sensors.




Tiny sensors in the ends of nematocysts in polyp's tentacles trigger the nematocyst to eject. These sensors are stimulated either chemically or physically.





Marine chemists at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography have isolated a chemical from a rare species of coral that shows promise as a potential drug to fight breast and ovarian cancer.


Recently patented and licensed to Bristol-Myers Squibb, the chemical, called eleutherobin, appears to function similarly to taxol in preventing cells from dividing.


The strange-looking, yellow coral was discovered growing on an underwater boulder in the Indian Ocean by William Fenical, director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine.


"I've been working on soft corals for 25 years and I'd never seen this species before," Fenical said. "We were collecting off the coast of Australia in a shallow area of water known as Bennett's Shoal and we just stumbled across these tiny, yellow animals sticking out like fingers from the rock."


Intrigued, Fenical brought samples of the coral back to his lab at Scripps where post doctoral student Thomas Lindel extracted a chemical from the coral and tested it in a standard bioassay used to determine whether substances show activity against human cancer cells. The scientists were stunned by what they saw.


"The stuff was so extraordinarily potent that it was dangerous to handle," Fenical said. "You could dilute it a million-fold, and it still killed cells very powerfully."


Further tests showed that eleutherobin mimics taxol's very unusual method of blocking cell division. Like taxol, it binds to cellular structures called microtubules, which are part of the mitotic spindle and play a key role in cell division. Once eleutherobin has attached to the microtubules, they become extremely rigid and prevent cancer cells from dividing. Lindel, Fenical and Scripps researcher Paul Jensen report their findings in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


K.C. Nicolaou, chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research Institute whose research team produced taxol in the laboratory in a process known as total synthesis, extolled eleutherobin's potential as an anti-cancer agent.


"The oceans demonstrate, with eleutherobin, once again, their wealth in molecular diversity and potential cures for disease," Nicolaou said. "Indeed, eleutherobin is a very exciting molecule from the synthetic point of view and highly promising as a possible drug candidate for the treatment of cancer."


Heralded as a breakthrough treatment for breast and ovarian cancer, taxol is found in the bark of the Pacific yew tree. Because extracting the product resulted in the death of the slow-growing tree, Bristol-Myers Squibb began producing a semisynthetic version of the drug from a precursor to taxol found in the trees' needles. While it is a potent weapon against cancer, taxol is difficult to administer and has serious side effects, including immune system suppression, nausea and hair loss. While eleutherobin will have to go through years of testing to determine its effectiveness in humans, Fenical points to it as an example of the potential the oceans hold as a source of new pharmaceuticals.


"The ocean can contribute enormously to the cure and understanding of human disease," he said. "Our goal is to take advantage of that vast resource."


The field of marine natural products chemistry is beginning to garner increased attention as researchers find it progressively more difficult to discover new drugs from terrestrial sources.


"Everyone is saying we need new antibiotics, but they have completely overlooked this vast resource out there in the ocean despite the fact that the oceans form the majority of the surface of the Earth," Fenical said.


In searching for new marine chemicals that may be useful as drugs, marine chemists look for organisms that appear to defend themselves chemically rather than to rely on the protection of such things as shells and spines or the mobility to run away. The underlying assumption is that some of the chemicals that help protect marine organisms also may ward off disease in humans.


Fenical previously discovered a potent anti-inflammatory agent, called pseudopterosin, in a Caribbean sea whip. The compound, developed in conjunction with Robert Jacobs, a professor of pharmacology at UC Santa Barbara, already has been incorporated into a skin cream currently being marketed to help protect against skin damage. Pseudopterosin also has been licensed to a pharmaceutical firm, which is testing it as an anti-inflammatory drug against such conditions as psoriasis and contact dermatitis.


Fenical's research is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the California Sea Grant College System.



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Brief Descriptions of Invertebrate Phyla


Bryozoans & Brachiopods


These two are both part of the Lophophorates which also include Phoronida, if I ever get a photo of a phoronid I'll be sure to add them to the list. All the members of these groups have food catching organs called (you guessed it) a lophophore. This is usually a circle or horseshoe shape around the mouth that is covered with cilia. The cilia are used to move water through the lophophore and that's how they catch plankton. These animals are also all sessile (they don't move) and secrete a protective covering. On Brachiopods the covering could be mistaken for a shell but technically its not produced in from a mantle like the shell of Mollusks .




Now here's a group that has at least some members that are common to all of use (we eat them). Mollusks all have a muscular "foot" and a mantle that usually secretes a shell. Your best to look at them in smaller classes. the first two I list here could also be referred to as gastropods.




Have only one part to their shell and include animals like snails and abalone.




In general these are like snails without shells (however some do have shells). Nudibranch means "nude gill" so much of the frills you see on a nudibranch are it's gills.




Have two parts to their shell and include such species as oysters and scallops.




These ones have shells made up of many (poly) plates (placo). They include animals like chitons which because of the multi-plate structure are very good at holding on to curved rocks.




Now this one is a bit of a stretch for the layman (of which I am one) but lets just say that the foot has evolved a lot into the arms and tentacles and the shell has disappeared or become internal on almost all cephalopods (squids and cuttlefish have internal pens or remnant shells) (the Nautilus still has a shell). This is one of my favourite groups and includes the largest mollusks by far (giant squid maybe 16 meters long).




This is another group that is known to many people (food again) these are the crabs. In general you can say that arthropods have an exoskeleton or a hard external shell. In B.C. we have 3 main groups of crabs:


True Crabs


These guys have 4 pairs of walking legs plus claws.


Lithode Crabs


These crabs have 3 pairs of walking legs plus claws.


Hermit Crabs


Although they have an exoskeleton it is softer and thus they tend to use empty mollusk shells for protection. One species also uses empty tubeworm tubes.


The odd ball of this group is the barnacle, think of him as a crab stuck to the rock by his head and waving his feet in the air to catch food.


Cnidarians & Ctenophores


this group includes all anemones, jellyfish and corals. They are animals that have stinging cells and only one body opening (that is food comes in and waste leaves via the same opening). You can think of a jelly fish as an anemone floating upside down. Ctenophores are a small group of jellyfish like animals that are spherical or oval shaped (at present I have no photos up of this group).




This is the phylum porifera,, and its members can take many forms from huge barrels to tiny encrusting mats. They rank as the most primitive of multi-celled animals have no real tissues or organs. All members of the group are sessile (they don't move), in fact they were considered plants until 1765. Its hard to describe sponges in a few words, they could be flat, or bumpy, soft or hard, big or small and they live in all oceans.




These are the seastars and more, they often exhibit five sided symmetry but in a significant number it is hard to see (without using a knife). The seastars are common to us all but animals like sea cucumbers may not be as common to many people. another good identifying characteristic of echinoderms are tube feet. these are feet controlled by a separate water vascular system in the animal. As you look at the photos here you will see some animals that are hard to fit into this model but they do.



Aerial photograph of Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary viewed from seaward to landward. Photo by Bill Becker, Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. From The Ecology of South Florida Coral Reefs: A Community Profile. A reef is a structure built by organisms that rises above the surrounding seafloor.


Reefs throughout geologic history share a common set of environmental features. Reefs are built in warm shallow seawater in the tropics and subtropics. Reefs occur only in waters that are relatively free of suspended, land-derived sediment, which allows sunlight to penetrate to the reef surface, permitting photosynthetic organisms to live.

Reefs are characterized by high biodiversity and include five major types of organisms.


Reef constructors help to build the reef by forming a framework of hard skeletons.

Elkohrn or moosehorn coral (Acropora plamata) (heavy blades) and fused staghorn coral (A. prolifera) (right). From The Ecology of South Florida Coral Reefs: A Community Profile.


Reef bafflers have upright, frond or stick-like growth forms that interfere with currents and trap sediment on the reef surface.


Seagrass Thalassia testudinum, adjacent to patch reefs.From The Ecology of South Florida Coral Reefs: A Community Profile.


Reef binders grow over and around loose sediment and skeletons of reef organisms and literally bind them together.


Reef dwellers consist of a variety of species that live in and among the constructors and binders, but they do not directly build the reef framework. Reef destroyers bore into or scrape away parts of the reef surface, converting hard reef framework into loose particles of sediment.


The reef community is characterized by complex interactions among these types of organisms. Corals, which are common reef constructors, form a rigid framework that offers habitats for reef-dwelling bivalves, which may cement to coral heads or nestle in cavities between them. Certain sponges, worms and other bivalves act as reef-destroyers by boring into the coral framework and producing loose particles of broken coral. Baffling organisms, such as sea-fans, may concentrate these sediment particles on particular parts of the reef, where organisms such as calcareous algae can bind them to create a new type of rigid surface.


Silurian reefs of 420 million years ago share many features in common with those of today, including tropical to subtropical distribution, growth in shallow water, and relatively high biodiversity. Silurian and modern reefs also show important differences, however. Binders appear to have been more important in Silurian reefs, and destroyers less important, than in reefs of today. The actual groups of organisms that occupy various functional roles in the reef community are also different. For example, stromatoporoids, an extinct type of sponge, are important constructors in Silurian reefs but are unknown in those of today.





National Science Foundation Contributions

to the U.S. Coral Reef Initiative and the

International Coral Reef Initiative








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Date: Tue, 16 Apr 96 01:51:34 EST


To: coral-list

Subject: US Coral Reef Initiative -- US National Science Foundation



16 April 1996


To anyone interested:


Attached is a revised compendium that outlines many research and

related projects that were supported by the U. S. National Science

Foundation with Fiscal Year 1995 funding as part of the US Coral Reef

Initiative and as part of the US contribution to the International

Coral Reef Initiative.



Phillip Taylor, Director

Biological Oceanography

Division of Ocean Sciences

U. S. National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, Virginia 22230 USA




Directorate for Geosciences (lead)


Population Biology of Caribbean Octocorals

Daniel Brazeau, University of Florida


Fertilization success among sessile, marine invertebrates is a largely

unknown variable bridging those factors which field ecologists can measure

(fecundity, organism size, population abundance) and one often difficult

to estimate (reproductive success). Using the Caribbean octocoral Baiareum

asbestinum as a model animal, this project will examine temporal and

spatial variation in reproductive success for male and female colonies.

The research will test the specific prediction that female fertilization

success is directly proportional to the nearby abundance male colonies.

This information is crucial for understanding the abundance and growth of

invertebrate populations in coral reef ecosystems and will provide

important information for the successful restoration and management of

coral reefs worldwide.



The Role of Heterotrophic Dinoflagellates in Marine Plankton Dynamics:

Growth, Grazing Behavior and Bioluminescence Edward Buskey, University of



This study will examine the effects of food quantity and quality on the

growth, feeding and bioluminescence of several species of Protoperidinium.

Selective feeding of these pallium, feeding dinoflagellates (which capture

large food particles extracellualarly) and the role of sensory perception

in this selection process will also be examined. In addition, the study

will determine the abundance of heterotrophic dinoflagellates in the

western Gulf of Mexico, and examine the relationship between growth rate

and bioluminescence capacity for field collected Protoperidinium incubated

at ambient food concentrations.



Hydrodynamic Forcing of Metabolism of Coral Reef Algal Communities Robert

Carpenter, California State University Northridge and Susan Williams, San

Diego State University


The current paradigm explaining how coral reefs maintain high biomass of

organisms and extremely high rates of gross primary productivity is that

tight recycling of nutrients and organic matter occurs within the reef

resulting in zones of net autotrophy alternating with zones of net

heterotrophy. Autotrophic upstream communities are thought to support

downstream heterotrophic assemblages with the overall balance resulting in

ecosystem P/R ratios near unity. According to this paradigm, coral reefs

are not coupled significantly to the surrounding oligotrophic ocean.

Recent studies suggest that coral reefs may be much more dependent on

hydrodynamic processes than currently believed. Although nutrient

concentrations of tropical waters are very low, an enormous volume of

water is advected across the reef and could result in a large flux of

nutrients to benthic primary producers. The major upstream autotrophic

zone is the reef flat where algal turf assemblages are responsible for the

majority of primary productivi ty. Previous work has demonstrated that

rates of primary productivity and nitrogen fixation of algal turf are

affected significantly by water flow speed. Furthermore, flow measurements

on one reef suggest that algal canopy height significantly alters the

local hydrodynamic regime and as a result, metabolic processes of algal

turfs may be diffusion-limited for a significant proportion of time. This

project will test the hypothesis that rates of primary productivity and

nitrogen fixation of coral reef algal turfs are diffusion-limited.

Measurements of the flow environment on a reef flat will be made and used

to estimate the degree to which algal turfs varying in canopy height are

diffusion-limited. The project will then move on to test hypotheses about

the specific factors that result in diffusion- limitation. The results of

this project should fill a gap on empirical measurements of water flow in

coral reef environments and how water flow affects algal metabolism. The

results of this research may lead to a si gnificant paradigm shift in

understanding how coral reefs function. Demonstration that reefs are open

ecosystems that are strongly coupled to the surrounding ocean environment

would have important implications for predictions of the effects of global

climate change on these unique ecosystems.



Recent Variability in the Intertropical Convergence Zone of the Western

Atlantic: Seasonal Multicentury Reconstructions from Venezuela Corals

Julie Cole, University of Colorado


This project will examine stable isotopes in corals collected off

Venezuela to look for evidence of changes in ocean circulation and

temperature which may correlate with rainfall patterns in Brazil and

sub-Saharan Africa. If so, the coral record can be used to extend rainfall

records to prehistoric times, in order to discern cyclic or long-term

changes. The project also implicitly tests assumptions about the role of

cross- equatorial heat transport in controlling tropical Atlantic climate.



The Record of ENSO in the Warm Pool of the Western Pacific: Multi-century

Reconstruction from the Geochemistry of Long-lived Corals Julie Cole,

University of Colorado


The western Pacific warm pool provides a major source of water vapor and

energy to the global atmosphere and is a "center of action" for the El

Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system, whose signal permeates the global

record of interannual climate variability. ENSO warm extremes originate

from the region, and the western Pacific convection anomalies associated

with ENSO propagate climate variability throughout the tropics and the

world. This award supports a project that will reconstruct multi-century

records of variability in the ocean/atmosphere of the western equatorial

Pacific, using geochemical records from the skeletons of long-lived

corals. The study will extend the limited record to ENSO to span the past

few centuries along an equatorial transect from the region of the date

line into the heart of the western Pacific warm pool. The resulting

records will provide a new understanding of long-term temporal and spatial

variability of ENSO and its relation to variations in the western Pacific

warm pool an d to external forcings, including the regional response to

the Little Ice Age. The proposed paleoclimatic study will place the

TOGA/COARE observations in a long-term perspective and delineating the

range of natural variability that models must aim to simulate.



Population and Community Dynamics of Corals: A Long Term Study. Joseph

Connell, University of California


The objectives of the present project are several: 1) To extend the

detailed long-term monitoring of ecological communities of corals and

algae on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia which has been carried on

continuously over the past 30 years, the longest such study on any coral

reef; 2) to expand the study to include sites on two nearby reefs, and

additional replicate sites on Heron Reef; 3) to analyze spatial patterns

and dynamics of corals and algae at several scales, from centimeters to

tens of meters, both during the course of colonization of patches (opened

by disturbances) and after most of the surface has become crowded by many

colonies. These analyses should reveal the long-term effects of

interactions that may be crucial in determining how natural communities

are structured; 4) to test with controlled field experiments some

hypotheses about mechanisms: a) that produce the unique species

composition of corals at the Inner Reef Flat site, b) that cause

contrasting patterns of algae after disturbances , and c) that determine

precisely how each colony affects its neighbors; 5) to build mathematical

models and computer simulations of the dynamics of these populations and

communities of corals and algae: a) to investigate the influence of past

and present conditions on future changes, b) to characterize temporal and

spatial dynamics, and c) to test hypotheses about the consequences of

these dynamics to the community. The models will be also used to asses the

degree to which community structure and dynamics may or may not be

influenced by details of spatial relationships. The field methods will use

the standard sampling techniques used over the past 30 years, to assure

continuity in the long-term data base. The experimental methods, using

coral transplanting and cages to exclude larger herbivores, have also been

used before in this study and are well- established. Larval choice

experiments and new recruit transplants have been carried out successfully

by the co- investigators elsewhere on the Great Barrier Re ef.. The

significance of this proposed research to the advancement of knowledge is

that: 1) it deepens the general knowledge of how natural communities of

corals and algae (the dominant sessile organisms on tropical and

sub-tropical reefs), are assembled and structured in the face of changes

in their environment over extended periods of time; 2) it reveals some of

the mechanisms that link the environment with these community changes, and

how both vary over short and long time periods and between small and

larger spatial scales; and 3) it helps to predict the effect of

environmental changes, including those caused by human activity, on these

natural communities.



Ribosomal DNA Sequences in Marine Yeasts: A Model for Identification and

Quantification of Marine Eukaryotes Jack Fell, University of Miami


Using molecular techniques for rapid and accurate determination of

community structure, this research will determine fungal biodiversity and

population biomass in tropical caostal ecosystems (principally mangrove

ecosystems) of two distinctly different groups of micro-fungi: the

basidiomycetous yeasts and the oomycetous genus Halophythophora. Both

groups have important roles in detrital based food webs. The research

program will include laboratory and field studies. Laboratory studies will

complete the data bank of know species as a basis for determining

community structure in the field. New procedures will be developed with

preliminary emphasis on quantitative PCR (QPCR) using laser detected

infrared labeled primers. Field research will center on reef and mangrove

habitats. Using a combination of classical microbial techniques and

molecular methods, the community structure and relative abundance of known

and unknown culturable fungi species will be determined. The identity of

these species will be ascertain ed by automated DNA sequence analysis and

nucleotide alignment with the data bank. Species-specific regions will be

located and primers developed to test the accuracy and sensitivity of PCR

techniques in estimating community structure. Through the use of PCR and

QPCR, the occurrence of unculturable species and population densities will

be estimated. The techniques developed in this research can be applied to

population analyses of other micro- or macro-eukaryote communities.



Bleaching of Symbiotic Algae (Zooxanthellae) and their Invertebrate Hosts:

Causes and Mechanisms William Fitt, University of Georgia


Bleaching, the loss of symbiotic dinoflagellates("zooxanthellae"

hereafter) of their pigments, of reef corals and other invertebrates has

become a world-wide problem in tropical marine ecosystem, linked by some

researchers to global warming. The results of bleaching have potentially

devastating environmental, ecological and economic effects in the

Caribbean, IndoPacific, an other tropical marine areas. Though there is

some experimental work showing involvement of both higher than average

temperature and light, the mechanisms involved in bleaching are not well

understood this project will test three hypotheses. 1. Bleaching in nature

is caused by high temperature stress coupled with high energy blue light

(and possibly UV-A between 380-400nm). Preliminary evidence shows that

while high temperature alone will induce bleaching, natural light exposure

during high temperature treatment exacerbates the effect by lowering the

temperature threshold and time to bleaching at a given temperature. this

study will determ ine which component of light is responsible for this

effect and the mechanisms of action. Early theories on bleaching had light

playing a major role, but experimental evidence has not yet supported this

contention. Potentially harmful chemical alterations associated with high

energy wavelengths of blue light (and possibly some near-blue wavelengths

of UV-A, that are not adsorbed by UV-protecting pigments found in corals)

are not only consistent with field observations of bleaching, but are also

supported by both laboratory and field-based preliminary experiments. 2.

The mechanisms of temperature-light induced bleaching involves the

irreversible dissociation of the chlorophyll-protein associations in the

chloroplast. The harmful effects of high temperatures and light on algae

include the irreversible separation or inactivation of the

chlorophyll-protein complexes associated with reaction centers in the

chloroplast. Electron transport activity and eventually carbon fixation

decrease markedly. 3. High light and temperatures cause decreases in

"protective" pigments which absorb ultraviolet light. The role of

different wavelengths of light in conjunction with high temperature in

determining concentrations of UV- screening pigments will be determined as

well as their relationship with photosynthetic rates. These hypotheses

will be tested using cultured and freshly isolated zooxanthellae, and

intact hosts both in the laboratory and in field-based experiments.



El Nino Impacted Coral Reefs In The Tropical Eastern Pacific Secondary

Disturbances, Recovery and Modeling of Population and Community Responses.

Peter Glynn, University of Miami


This research will continue a long-term study that has focused on

ecological disturbances to eastern Pacific coral reefs that accompanied

the sever and historically unprecedented 1982-83 El Nino-Southern

Oscillation (ENSO). The study involves international collaboration with

host- county research teams and primary field sites in Costa Rica, Panama,

and the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), areas heavily impacted by the 1982-83

ENSO. Dr. Glynn will lead the research to continue (a) with the physical

and biotic monitoring of eastern Pacific coral reefs initiated in the

early-mid 1970s, (b) investigating the responses of different coral

species to ENSO stressors, (c) studying coral reproductive ecology as it

relates to recruitment success, and (d) documenting coral community

recovery. New research directions include (e) remote sensing, which will

attempt to link coral bleaching/mortality with local and global scale sea

surface temperatures by means of synoptic and repeated measurements, and

(f) modeling of coral pop ulation and community dynamics based on

mechanistic relationships between temperature, predation, coral growth,

and survivorship derived from field monitoring and experimental results.

Because important secondary disturbances are still occurring and reef

recovery has been slow, it is necessary to continue this study in order to

understand the variety of changes involved and the full impact of a major

disturbance on eastern Pacific coral survival and reef building. We are

hopeful that ENSO warming disturbances can provide some insight to the

probable changes in coral reefs worldwide if projected global warming

causes repeated and/or protracted sea temperature increases comparable to

the 1982-83 ENSO.




Quantitative Aspects of Prey Chemical Defenses

Mark Hay, University of North Carolina


This project will extend the PI's current investigations on chemical

mediation of seaweed-herbivore and invertebrate-predator interactions to

include: (1) complex interactions of prey nutritional value with chemical

and structural prey defenses, (2) an understanding of how larval and spore

defenses differ from those of the adult, and why (exposure to different

consumers?, increased exposure to UV without adult structures that provide

shade?, etc.), and (3) the role of learned aversion by vertebrate versus

invertebrate consumers in affecting both prey and consumer dynamics.

Because benthic seaweeds and invertebrates play a trophically and

ecologically important role in tropical and sub-tropical near-shore

communities and are rich sources of novel secondary metabolites that

function as defenses against consumers and have potential applications as

pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and growth regulating substances,

understanding how these organisms respond chemically to ecological and

environmental threats can pro vide fundamental information about how

marine systems function, and can suggest strategies for applied uses of

marine natural products.



Broadcast Spawning and the Population Ecology of Coral Reef Animals Howard

Lasker, State University of New York


The literature on marine benthic ecology and evolution has generally

ignored fertilization rates as an important factor in the life histories

of benthic species, many which are important resource species. These rates

have implicitly been assumed to be uniformly high and thus not a terribly

significant factor in the establishment of the adult populations. There

are now a number of data sets which raise doubts about the validity of

that assumption. The research will determine rates of fertilization among

natural populations and will explore some of the factors controlling these

rates in reef communities. Using the Caribbean gorgonian, Plexaura A, as a

model system Drs. Lasker and Coffroth will determine rates of

fertilization of eggs released in synchronous spawning events. Plexaura A

is clonal and often has skewed ratios of male and female colonies on

different reefs. This will enable comparison of rates from reefs which

differ in current regime and in the density of male colonies. Using random

amplified poly morphic DNA (RAPD) from individual planulae larvae, they

will conduct paternity analyses, determine the proportion of

fertilizations attributable to specific male clones, and determine the

effects of clone size and distribution on fertilization. If rates are low

and are affected by factors such as population density, then it will be

necessary to incorporate fertilization rates in analyses of benthic

population animal dynamics and evolution.



The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Symbiotic Cnidarians: Action

Spectra, Sites of Damage, and Bleaching Michael Lesser, University of New



The decrease of the stratospheric ozone layer has resulted in an increase

in the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching both terrestrial

and aquatic ecosystems. Recent data indicates that this phenomenon will

also affect tropical ecosystems. Tropical ecosystems have a long

evolutionary history of exposure to fluxes of UV radiation, and can

provide considerable insight into evolved mechanisms of protection against

the deleterious effects of UV radiation. We presently do not know with

confidence the wave length-dependent efficiency (action spectrum) of UV

radiation for any physiological function in symbiotic cnidarians.

Widespread coral bleaching events have recently been observed following

anomolously high sea surface temperatures around the world. If UV

radiation synergistically interacts with increased sea water temperatures,

action spectra will be required to predict what dose of UV radiation can

induce bleaching, with or without an increase in sea water temperature. An

important step in understa nding the bleaching phenomenon is to determine

the independent and synergistic effects of temperature, visible radiation,

and UV radiation on the functional biology of symbiotic associations.



A Facility for Research and Education at the Caribbean Marine Research

Center, Lee Stocking Island Marine Field Station. Romuald Lipcius,

Virginia Institute of Marine Science


The Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC) is one of six National

Undersea Research Centers. CMRC's marine field station on Lee Stocking

Island (LSI) in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas comprises 28 buildings, a

915-meter airstrip, nine research vessels, wet and dry submersibles, and

recompression chamber and an underwater habitat. The station affords

access to a pristine marine environment with a diverse array of tropical

habitats including shallow and deep coral reefs, grassbeds, sand flats,

mangroves, submerged carbonate terraces, subsea caves, blue holes, tidal

channels and stromatolites, a unique bio-geological feature. During 1993,

131 visiting scientists and students conducted research in the fields of

benthic ecology, invertebrate biology, fisheries ecology, oceanography,

coral reef ecology, paleo-oceanography, macroalgal ecology, aquaculture,

global climate change, coral bleaching and marine geology. In addition, a

limited number of field courses and workshops were held at LSI. However,

the station is hinde red by a paucity of accommodations for visiting

scientists, and the lack of a suitable lecture and workshop facility,

which prevents CMRC from meeting numerous requests to conduct field

courses, workshops and research. The proposed partnership between CMRC,

The College of William & Mary (W&M), and NSF would significantly enhanced

the utility of one of the most productivity marine field stations in the

Caribbean. Specifically this project will provide for the construction of

a dormitory and lecture/workshop building at LSI. Key contributions by

CMRC include property for the facility, support services, and

administrative framework for coordination of activities, and maintenance

of the building over the facility's lifetime.



Calcification by Hermatypic Corals: Regulation of the Calcium Pathway

Erich Mueller, University of South Alabama


Reef-building corals display two modes of calcification, that which occurs

in the light and that taking place in the dark. Calcium carbonate

deposition is greater in the light, a phenomenon attributed to the

photosynthetic activity of algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae). There is

evidence that the two modes may differ in mechanism as well as

quantitatively. In spite of numerous studies, the link between coral

calcification and zooxanthellae photosynthesis remains unresolved. The

significance of this link can be succinctly stated: the partnership of

corals and their zooxanthellae is essentially responsible for the

existence of the world's living (and most fossil) coral reefs. A major

question is whether either of the calcium carbonate substrates, calcium

and dissolved inorganic carbon dioxide, are limiting to calcification and,

if so, under what conditions. The importance of calcium to living systems

has led to a variety of well-conserved calcium regulatory mechanisms,

however, very little coral research has examined such regulation. This

strategy has a large base of information from research on other

biomineralizing organisms and in many areas of cellular physiology. Such

an approach, coupled with recent advances in coral culture, promises

substantial progress in a research area that has made little during the

past decade. This research project will focus on whether coral

calcification is limited by calcium availability at the site of

skeletogenesis (not in seawater) and how availability may be affected by

symbiont photosynthetic activity. Using a combination of pharmacologic and

kinetic approaches, the calcium pathway from seawater to skeleton will be

compartmentally characterized. Calcium movement and regulation between

compartments by membrane transport systems and messenger systems (i.e.

cAMP, calmodulin ) will be of central interest. While this basic research

question may be sufficient justification for this projec t, there are

benefits of more practical value as well. Optimization of coral culture

could h ave far reaching implications for coral reef conservation.

Directly, it offers a means for propagation of corals to repair damaged

reefs. Use of coral culture in the aquarium trade could indirectly help

natural reefs by reducing the rapidly increasing wild harvest.

Understanding the light-enhancement of coral calcification would allow

manipulation of culture conditions to produce skeletons with consistent

physical properties. Such skeletons would be of value for use in bone

reconstruction where natural coral has been successfully employed.



Path of Carbon in Photosynthesis and Release of Glycerol by Zooxanthellae

Leonard Muscatine, University of California


One of the most intriguing, and enigmatic phenomena in the field of coral

reef ecology is the symbiotic relationship between the coral polyp and the

nutrient producing dinoflagellate that it hosts. This relationship is the

key feature in the stability of coral reefs and many of the organisms

which reside there. The objective of this project is to study the

translocation of carbon from symbiotic dinoflagellates to the coral host

cells. This will be achieved by a revolutionary approach to studying this

relationship, by artificially altering the biochemical carbon pathways,

and evaluating the subsequent metabolism of the coral polyp and the

photosynthetic capacities of the dinoflagellates. This shall give us new

insights on the nutritional relationship between the two. Dr. Muscatine

has a string of success with prior NSF awards and is at the forefront in

this field of study. His project will help to achieve two objectives: 1)

further contribute to our understanding of the role of coral symbioses,

which could po tentially have biotechnological value, and 2) provide

another opportunity for collaborative work with Russian scientist in U.S.




Housing Facility for Visiting Scientists Award

Valerie Paul, University of Guam


The University of Guam Marine Laboratory will build a housing facility for

accommodating visiting researchers including visiting graduate students.

The 2000 sq ft building will contain three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a

kitchen, and a living area for dormitory style accommodations and a

separate suite with two bedrooms, one bath, and a kitchen for an apartment

style unit. Earlier support allowed the university to complete the

architectural and engineering plans for this building. Such a facility is

considered extremely important because 1) the institution is in an

isolated academic environment and visiting investigators are a valuable

resource for interactions and new ideas, and 2) skyrocketing rents and a

serious housing shortage combine to make it difficult to impossible to

find adequate lodging for visitors staying less than 6 months. The

University of Guam Laboratory supports the research of 8 full-time

faculty, numerous graduate and undergraduate students, as well as visiting

investigators. The research dem ands on facility have increased due to the

addition of new faculty at the laboratory, the recent establishment of

collaborative programs between the Marine Laboratory and the University of

Hawaii and the University of the Ryukyus (Okinawa, Japan), and the

awareness of the Marine Laboratory as a resource for coral reef research

by over 550 scientists who attended the 7th International Coral Reef

Symposium on Guam in June 1992. The new building will allow the support of

increasing numbers of visiting scientists that wish to conduct research at

the laboratory , which will in turn enhance the research environment.



Assessing the Chemical Defenses of Caribbean Sponges

Joseph Pawlik, University of North Carolina


Sponges are important components of benthic marine communities,

particularly on coral reefs. Organic extracts of their tissues have

yielded a wealth of unusual chemical compounds that are not known to be

involved in primary metabolism. These secondary metabolites have a

diversity of pharmacological effects in laboratory assays, but it is

unclear why sponges produce them. The most commonly held theory is that

these compounds are distasteful to potential predators. The proposed

research will provide an assessment of the chemical defenses of Caribbean

demo sponges, a group whose taxonomy and chemistry is fairly well

described. The investigation will proceed within a theoretical framework

established by previous research on the chemical ecology of terrestrial

plants and marine algae. Overall, this research project represents the

first systematic investigation of the chemical defenses of tropical marine

sponges. The results will be useful in judging the general applicability

of optimal defense theories based on s tudies of terrestrial ecosystems.



On the Abundance, Dynamics and Regulation of Damselfish Populations

Russell Schmitt and Sally Holbrook, University of California


The aim of the work is to understand the dynamics and regulation of

structured, open populations, which typify most marine reef fishes and

invertebrates. While there is broad agreement among ecologists that

attributes of populations are shared by more than an single process

(e.g., availability of propagules, competition within and between life

stages, competition with other species, predation), there remains

considerable disagreement regarding their relative importance. There also

is some confusion about what roles various processes have in producing

dynamics; few empirical workers have distinguished between processes that

regulate populations (i.e., bound fluctuations) as opposed to those that

cause variation around the mean abundance. An enormous amount is known

about the caused of fluctuations in abundance of reef organisms, but very

little is known about what regulates their populations. This work will

contribute in several key ways to understanding the general issue of

dynamics and regulation. It is one of the first comprehensive,

pluralistic evaluations of reef fishes that will distinguish effects of

processes on regulation and on variation. Second, it will use for the

first time operational definitions and analytical protocols for

quantitative assessments of the relative importance of various processes.

As such, the research could yield standard approaches and procedures to

address relative importance. Third, the application of infrared video

technology enables the exploration of little studied but crucial

processes of settlement and early mortality.




Zooplankton Capture by Corals: Effects of Water Movement and Prey Escape

Kenneth Sebens and Jennifer Purcell, University of Maryland


Information on water flow in coral reef environments has generally been

done to quantify mass transport across reefs or to identify important

processes generating nutrient flux from reefs. This project will

investigate the effects of water flow on several aspects of the feeding

biology of corals. Field measurements of feeding rates on four species of

corals will be made with prey sampling by an automated pump/sampler and

field flume that allows concurrent measurements of water flow and prey

availability. Feeding experiments will be manipulated by varying flow

rate, prey type, and food availability and will be conducted over several

days with different flow conditions. Capture events and prey type, and

food availability and will be conducted over several days with different

flow conditions. Capture events and prey escape behavior will be filmed

using underwater video. Another important aspect of feeding biology in

coral reefs is the small scale water flow around corals in the field. This

will be accomplished with three self- contained underwater thermistors

flowmeters with 2 mm spatial resolution, based on the design of LaBarber

and Vogel (1976). The data collected will be used to characterize the

general flow regime at the site, providing new information about the flow

environment of coral reefs in Jamaica and other sites in the Caribbean.



Pacific Paleoclimate from Reef Corals in the Eastern and Western Margins:

Records from Galapagos, Cocos Island and the Gulf of Papua Glen Shen,

University of Washington


This award will support a study designed to characterize the paleoclimate

of the eastern Pacific over the last 400 years using the best available

coral samples and seeks to establish a new geochemical tracer in the far

western Pacific - a region for which few marine climatic indicators

presently exist. The foci of the eastern Pacific reconstructions will be

the Galapagos Islands (0.5oS, 91oW) and Cocos Island ( 5.3oN, 86.9oW). The

ratio of barium:calcium in coral argonite, a sensitive indicator of

upwelling and fluvial discharge, will be the key measurement using an

Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). Records spanning

270- (Cocos) and 400-years (Galapagos) length will be produced at

quarter-annual resolution. Additionally, annual determinations of Cd/Ca

and Mn/Ca will be made . Developmental effort for a regional precipitation

index over Australasia will involve determination of Ba/Ca ratios in a

100- year coral core from the Gulf of Papua, an area markedly influenced

by Ba-enriched contin ental runoff. The goal of this work is the

development of climatically-relevant datasets which surpass the

instrumental record in length yet retain the quality of latter 20th

century measurements. Such records will allow a closer examination of

recurrent periods (e.g annual, biennial, and three-to-seven year ENSO

timescales) which appear to characterize the lower atmosphere and upper

ocean, and may reveal the existence of longer time scale variations.



Marine Biotechnology Fellowship: Natural Products from Common

Shallow-water Soft Corals of Guam: Reproductive Considerations Marc

Slattery, University of Mississippi


This research project will utilize analytical chemical techniques to

evaluate the importance of secondary metabolites and steroids in the

reproduction of 3 species of soft corals from Guam. This project builds on

ongoing research which has identified and examined the importance of

secondary metabolites, organic extracts, and morphological defenses in

soft coral predator deterrence. This project will extract, isolate, and

determine the structures of new secondary metabolites in adult colonies

and their eggs. Temporal changes in concentrations of these compounds will

be correlated with reproductive indices to assess the role of the

compounds in maturation and spawning. Standard bioassays will be conducted

to guide isolation of bioactive compounds and to determine the importance

of isolated natural products in egg release, sperm chemotaxis, and feeding

deterrence. Novel compounds identified in this project will expand upon a

growing database of metabolites that can be used as chemotaxonomic markers

and will be incorporated into existing pharmacological programs.

Additionally, this project will contribute significant in sights into the

reproductive biology and chemical ecology of the common soft corrals on

the shallow reefs surrounding Guam.



The Physiology of Sclerochronology: Mechanism and Variation in Formation

of High Density Bands in the Massive Coral Montastrea Annularis Alina

Szmant and Peter Swart, University of Miami; Richard Dodge, Nova

University; and James Porter, University of Georgia


High density (HD) bands mark annual cycles of growth in X- radiographs of

reef coral skeletons and presumably form due to physiological response to

seasonal cycles of temperature and light. However, the mechanism of

formation has not been established for any coral. The HD band is usually

used to define the annual band, and thus understanding its formation, and

the controls on variability in its timing is important. In the research, a

conceptual model of how density bands form, based on physiological and

morphological data obtained with earlier NSF funding, is will be

developed. Four specific aspects of the work will include: (1) development

of a mechanistic mathematical model for the formation of the HD band of

Montastrea annularis, a major coral used in paleoclimate work; (2)

conducting an in situ experiment to test the validity of the model; (3)

evaluation of the genetic vs. environmental components of variation in

time of formation of the HD band; and (4) assessment of the variation

among corals in the re lationship between HD bands and stable isotope

profiles. This study will provide the type of environmental physiological

data needed for the precise use of coral density bands for




The Temperature History of the Western Pacific Warm Pool Over the Last 30

Ka Frederick Taylor, University of Texas; R. Lawrence, University of

Minnesota; and George Burr, University of Arizona


This project will collaborate with French scientists to drill coral

terraces in the western tropical Pacific. Three sites will span the center

and southern margins of the Western Pacific Warm Pool, and will be drilled

to about 30,000 yr BP. Samples will be analyzed for stable isotopes, U, Sr

and radiocarbon. The project will address two objectives; (1) a record of

warm pool thermal stability at several scales of climate change ( with

implications for circum-Pacific climate) and (2) calibration of the

radiocarbon age scale (relevant to all science which depends on

radiocarbon dating).



Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on the Biology of Caribbean Reef Corals

Gerard Wellington, University of Houston


Recent studies indicate that ultraviolet radiation can penetrate to

considerable depths on tropical reefs. Persistent high levels of UV

penetration, resulting from extended periods of calm sea conditions, have

been shown to induce stress leading to the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae

(i.e., bleaching) in reef-building corals. These conditions may have

contributed significantly to the regional mass coral bleaching events

observed in the Caribbean during 1987 and 1990. This project will continue

monitoring penetration of UV radiation, sea temperatures, and recovery of

coral exposed to UV radiation. In addition, the project will be expanded

to evaluate the effects of UV radiation on the early life-history stages,

namely planula larvae and newly-recruited juveniles, of predominant coral

species. While increases in UV radiation are predicted to be minimal at

low latitudes, increased frequency of calm sea conditions predicted by

global warming will lead to enhanced water column clarity and high UV

penetration with subsequent negative effects on reef corals. This project,

by experimentally defining the maximum UV intensities that can be

tolerated by larval and juveniles corals, will provide insight into the

role that current intensities of UV radiation play in limiting recruitment

and shaping subsequent coral community structure.



Directorate for Biological Sciences (lead)



Center for Ultraviolet Radiation Research at the Hawaii Institute of

Marine Biology Paul Jokiel; Robert Kinzie; George Losey, University of



This project will provide equipment to enable the Hawaii Institute of

Marine Biology to serve as a center for diverse research on UV radiation

in the tropical marine environment. An international workshop on UV

radiation in the sea (Aug., 1994) concluded that HIMB's history of such

research and its sub- tropical location make it the most logical site in

the U.S.A., or the world, for such a center. A scanning spectroradiometer

will allow precision measurement of radiation in the laboratory and the

field. A UV- sensitive/visible wavelength remote controlled television

will allow visual perception and measurement of portions of the sensory

world of marine animals of which humans are dismally unaware. Visitors

will be encouraged to use these facilities and several leading

investigators in the field have firm plans for participation.



Optimization Strategies for Reef Restoration Using Cultured Hermatypic

Corals Erich Mueller, University of South Alabama


Coral reefs are important reservoirs of biodiversity and serve as centers

of biological production in low productivity seas. They provide

subsistence and commercial fishing and contribute to third world economies

by attracting tourism. It has become increasing apparent that reefs are

being adversely affected by human activities. The impact of anthropogenic

activities, both historical and modern, is damaging reefs to the point

whether ecosystem functioning has been compromised. Restoration of reef

fisheries and habitats is in its embryonic stages. Lessons learned from

terrestrial and near-shore restoration programs are being examined to

avoid costly or damaging errors. However, the logistics of working on

reefs and their complex nature require new approaches. There is a good

foundation of coral physiology and reef ecology research on which to base

restoration efforts. This project includes two closely coupled components:

1) examination of coral growth and physiology under laboratory culture

conditions and 2) assessment of coral contribution to habitat structural a

biological complexity and survival rates of laboratory -raised corals in

field test plots. This project will examine the effect of photoperiod and

substrates on coral growth rates and metabolic performance

(photosynthesis, respiration and calcification). These data will be used

to modify culture techniques which have significant advantages over simple

transplantation strategies. Corals are generally slow-growing species and

optimizing growth rates to attain coral of critical size will be

fundamental to the success of a culture approach. The critical size will

be assessed in field pilot studies. Test plots will be established in a

vessel grounding site. Plots will include corals grown under various

culture conditions (explants) and to varying sizes. Their effect on

habitat structural complexity and the resulting biodiversity will be

compared to corals transplanted from healthy reef areas and to natural

control sites. Survivorship and growth rates of cul tured explants and

transplanted corals will also be compared. Results obtained from this

project should provide both physiological and ecological information for

the formulation of viable restoration programs. In addition, the further

development of coral culture will assist reef conservation efforts by

reducing the increasing wild harvest of corals for commercial trade.



Keys Marine Laboratory Research Housing Facility

John Ogden; Kenneth Haddad, University of South Florida


The Keys Marine Laboratory (KML) commenced academic research and education

programs in the 1980's through a public/private partnership between the

Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) and Sea World of Florida, Inc.

Based on the success of that partnership and recognizing the need for

these programs and facilities the State of Florida purchased the KML in

1990. With the closure of other residential laboratory facilities in the

region and the unprecedented scientific and political attention on the

mosaic of South Florida environments, the KML has now assumed an even more

critical support role. In the last five years usage by research and

education groups has increased steadily and is beginning to exceed some of

the capabilities of the current facilities. Particularly urgent is the

need for improved and expanded housing accommodations for non-resident

researchers. Lodging has been identified as one of the major impediments

to conducting research in the region. Laboratory and boat facilities are

equally impor tant but at this point in time the KML can reasonably

accommodate these needs. This project will provide funding to construct

the first unit of a planned three-unit handicapped accessible housing

facility which will provide additional lodging space for two to four (2-4)

researchers/unit. This facility will help meet the need of regional,

national, and international scientists studying the continentally unique

systems of South Florida, including coral reefs.
















Anatomy of Corals

            Coral reefs consist of many diverse species of corals. These corals in turn are made up of tiny organisms called polyps. The structure of the polyps and the skeleton of the coral is a rather simple combination. A polyp is made up or two cell layers: the epidermis and the gastrodermis. The non-tissue layer between the gastrodermis and the epidermis is called the mesoglea.

            The polyp contains mesentery filaments, which contain nematocysts used in food capture, a pharynx, endothecal dissepiments (horizontal layers of skeletal material) and the columella (the central axis of the corallite found below the mouth). The corallite is the part of the skeleton deposited by one polyp. The skeletal wall around each polyp is called the theca. Other structures include the calice (the upper opening of the corallite), the coenosarc (the coral tissue that stretches over the surface of the coral between the polyps), the coenosteum (the skeletal material around the corallites), and the corallum, which is the skeleton of the coral. The coral anatomy also includes calcareous plate-like structure known as septa. The septa radiate from the wall to the center of the corallite. There are two types of septa: insert septa which lie below the corallite wall and exsert septa which protrude above the corallite wall.

            Corals are of two types: perforate and imperforate. Perforate corals have porous skeletons with connections between the polyps through the skeleton. Imperforate corals have solid skeletons.

            Many corals have different growth forms. They can be plocoid as in Tubastrea coccinea (orange cup coral) and Favia fragum (golf ball coral). They can also be meandroid in which corallites form a series within the same walls, as in the species Dendrogyra cylindrus (pillar coral). Other growth forms include cocoid, spherical shaped and phalecoid, as in Eusmilia fastigiata.

Coral Planet

Article and photographs by Zafer A. Kizilkaya

The center of unbelievable underwater riches, Indonesia boasts incomparable coral reefs which have formed over millions of years. The Tukang Besi Islands to the southeast of the Sulawesi Islands (Indonesia) offer one of the richest underwater habitats in the world. Zafer Kizilkaya from Atlas has captured their beauty with pictures of everything from algae to sponges, from corals to tropical fish.

Acropora corals in the shallow waters of the Koromaha Atoll. The Acropora is a hard coral that forms the backbone of the atoll. They grow in shallow waters with strong currents and can resist waves. They thrive in waters that are five meters deep, allowing them to best capture the suns rays. They grow quickly and stretch out many branches. Since the waves spread food, oxygen an larvae, these corals can form rather large colonies.

Sometimes shrimp join in on the symbiotic relationship between algae and corals.

Though this is quite rare, the symbiosis between algae and corals is sometimes extended to a third party. This is sometimes shrimp, at other times it might be a crab that joins in. These coral shrimp (Vir philippinensis), swimming around the polyps of this coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) are a good example. These shrimp have a symbiotic relationship only with this particular hard coral. The shrimp find shelter here. I am not quite clear on what the coral has to gain from this relationship. Perhaps marine biologists have already uncovered this mystery.

The smallest little spot can be home to an aquatic animal in these coral reefs which undoubtedly are among the most complex ecosystems.

Hoga Island offers an opportunity to observe the coral shrimp (Periclimenes holthuisi) in its natural habitat amongst the polyps of mushroom corals. You can be amazed when you see the unhatched eggs of these shrimp in their transparent bellies. It is not yet clear what kind of a symbiotic relationship these animals have.

<Picture>Western Pacific extends from Sumatra to Samoa. There are some 3,200 fish species here, 1,000 of which are indigenous to this area.

A school of Naso hexacanthus around the Runduma atoll. These fish hunt in groups. As they are high in nutritional value, they face over-fishing. The Indo-Pacific region (stretching from the Red Sea, South Africa and Polynesia) has 4,000 fish species and is one of the foremost regions for its fauna. The region also has 350 kinds of corals which again offers the largest variety. Unfortunately, increasing demand creates a big market for tropical fish and corals, some of which face extinction as a result.

Coming out of its refuge among soft corals, a playful lion fish (Pterois volitans) poses for us early in the morning. The Tukang Besi Islands, which lie to the southeast of Sulawesi, is the hub for animated researchers who catalog everything about the flora and fauna of the region. The research project that supports their activities is called Operation Wallacea. Zafer Kizilkaya was part of the crew last year. This year he was been in charge of taking pictures. <Picture>

<Picture>An anemone (Heteractis magnifica) and its symbiotic partner anemone fish (Amphiprion perideraion) around the Koromaha atoll. Anemones are some of the most interesting coral varieties. Though they might appear soft, they are in fact closer to hard corals. Giant anemones lead a symbiotic life with algae in the Indonesian reefs and prefer shallow waters. Some of these anemones have a diameter of 50 centimeters.


Soft corals

The deep waters of Hoga Island. Soft corals (Dendronephyta sp.) live in deep waters, away from the destructive influence of the waves and therefore grow rather quickly. They generally attach themselves to dead corals. The colors of the corals are courtesy of the algae with which the coral has a symbiotic relationship. Zooxanthellae (an alga that produces oxygen, glucose and amino acids as a byproduct of photosynthesis) provides the coral with nutrition. In return, it uses the coral's excess carbon dioxide, ammonium, nitrate and phosphate for further photosynthesis. <Picture><Picture>


Gorgonian corals that line the wall of the plankton rich reef at Ndaa Island. These soft corals prefer deep walls. Depending on the amount of sunlight and the abundance of the nutrients that the current carries, they can grow quite large. It is not known how long corals live but we can safely assume that they live well longer than a century. Corals need warm waters and sunlight to grow, making shallow tropical waters a perfect habitat for them. They can grow in depths up to 100 meters, especially around Indonesia where visibility is typically very good. Some hard corals have been documented even at 6,000 meter depths but these are few and far between.

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I haven't been this excited for years. It was 1992 when I saw and touched a coral reef for the first time. The following years experience only added to my amazement with corals and quietly lured me to the West Pacific. Diving near a coral reef was like traveling in a time machine. The fascinating underwater environment could take one back 10 million years. The reef that stretched in front of me was the sole witness to the times when life on earth was created in the shallow tropical waters.

Unfortunately, the reefs that are witnesses to our genesis are becoming extinct. It is calculated that there are still 500,000 square kilometers (190,00 sq. mi.) of coral reefs, though this figure is dwindling drastically. It is impossible to guess the extent of the destruction, just as it is very difficult to fathom the ecological consequences of the plight of the coral reefs. We already know that some 10% of the existing reefs are destroyed beyond repair. Some argue that a further 30% face annihilation in the next 10 to 20 years and another 30% in 20 to 40 years. Without a doubt, coral reefs are some of the most attractive places on our planet. Their ecosystem is infinitely complex and we have only a very rudimentary scientific grasp of it. In other words, we know that dying coral reefs are a problem but we don't quite know the extent of it.

Almost all of the scientific research that has been done to date is based on evidence collected from reefs that were easily accessible or had some historical significance. However, in order to collect truly global data, scientists must undertake research in the less explored reefs. Research institutes, which until recently have been conducting their research independently, have begun collaborating with each other in an effort to conduct research that could shed some light on a global problem. There was growing support for the argument that the global public's attention had to be drawn to the problems surrounding coral reefs. Concerted efforts to bring this about has succeeded in getting 1997 declared as the year of the coral reef worldwide.

I returned to the Tukang Besi Islands during this commemorative year to find out the status of a project that had begun here in 1995. I wanted to find out what they had done during the year that I was gone. The Tukang Besi Islands, or Wakatobi Islands as the locals call them, are to the southeast of Sulawesi. I was here a year ago and the pictures I had taken then were on the cover of the April edition of Atlas. I had taken part in a scientific research project, called Operation Wallacea. The pictures and footage that came out of this trip were seen by many thanks to the Internet and many around the globe had been mobilized by the evidence of the imminent death of the reefs. Within the month, the Tukang Besi Islands were declared a national park.

This was a very important step. Illegal fishing techniques, such as the use of dynamite and cyanide, were causing immense ecological damage all the way from the Red Sea and South Africa to the Indo-Pacific, including the Polynesian islands. As a result of these practices, almost half of the reefs in the Philippines have been destroyed within the short time-span between 1986 and 1991. The story was he same in Indonesia, which still has the largest reefs in the world. Some 30% of Indonesia's reefs were thus gravely damaged by dynamite, which is used for fishing, and cyanide, which is used to capture expensive tropical fish alive. Some of these reefs were part of the Tukang Besi Islands.

Jacques Cousteau once said that this area was the best diving area of the entire planet. Tukang Besi exhibits the richest underwater habitat of the globe. After being declared a national park and thus being turned into something of a laboratory, the islands now stand a better chance of escaping total destruction.

After I arrived, I decided that the previous year had changed very little on the islands. The only thing that seemed different were the clouds and rain brought on by the monsoons. Last weeks' cyclone caused two twisters. Luckily, these did not touch ground but followed a course offshore. After the decision to turn the islands into a national park, a new control office was built in the complex where we were staying and a patrol boat was put on duty.

There was another detailed study that was added to the project this year: the scientists were now busy making a very precise map of the reefs. In order to be able to assess the developments on the reef, it was very important to chart the existing habitat to be able to pinpoint changes later. Sponges, as well as soft and hard corals were meticulously being drawn into this map. This was the first time this method was being used in a n area so large. Considering that a group of six divers were only able to chart a 30-40 meter (100-130 ft.) area, it was obvious that the project would take a while to complete.

Another new project was counting the butterfly fish. These fragile fish are the best indicators of the health of the reefs. The fish had some 40 variants, all of which were recognized by the divers who prepared identification tags for them under water. I had only one job in this whole enterprise: taking pictures. I was taking pictures of all kinds of life forms, ranging from sponges to algae, from corals to fish. This way, we were able to prepare a catalog that would feature the different kinds of marine life around the islands.

We went to the western side of Hoga Island for our first dive. It was raining hard. I was mystified as soon as I was under water. Even though it was overcast, visibility under water was perfect. A very dense coral colony was beneath us, extending into the depths with a gentle incline. It was extremely peaceful down here. As a water current stroked past me, I almost thought I was part of the reef. The storm continued through the week during which the training of the new crew was completed . It was now time to start exploring the more distant islands. Early one morning before the tide came in I went down to the beach to stroll around the shallow waters of the reef. There were many animals trapped in the small puddles that were formed by the receding water. Helpless, they had to wait for the tide to return. I never thought that I would be able to see some of the most amazing underwater life right here on the "beach" that was formed a few hundred meters from the ocean after the ebb. I saw a dead coral rock in a pond that was perhaps 40 or 50 centimeters (16-20 in.) across. The pond was only 15 to 20 centimeters (6-8 in.) deep.

I saw many small fish under a rock, apparently being preyed on by a larger fish that was also in the pond. The small fish, aware that they had nowhere to go, were trying to take cover among the spines of a pair of sea urchins. I knelt down on the sand and began watching more closely. The larger fish were carefully maneuvering around the thorny spines of the urchins, trapping the little fish and gulping them down. I saw two that thus became lunch.

In a little while, the tide started coming back in. I saw many lovely shells on the beach. These were cone shells (Conus spp.) and cowries (Cypraea spp.). I saw some other fish near the shore which looked like ships run aground. I picked them up and threw them back into the water.


This crab, Dardanus guttatus, is a resident of Runduma. The Western Pacific has many varieties of crabs but it is now always easy to see them. Most species hunt at night. You may be able to see a few if you looked real hard amongst the coral polyps.


Golden sweepers (Parapriacanthus ransonneti) in the waters of Hoga Island. The orange colored Dendranephyta sp. colony provides an ideal home for these tiny fish.


These short tentacled carpet anemones (Amphiprion sandaracinos) live symbiotically with this anemone crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai) around Binongko Island. Its presence does not pose a problem for the anemone fish. It is unclear how the crab can protect itself against the poisonous tentacles of the anemone.


A starfish (Culcita sp.) and Emperor shrimp (Periclemenes soror), symbiotic partners. The Emperor shrimp lurks around the mouth of the starfish and feeds on leftovers. The shrimp are only 7-8 millimeters long and up to five of them can live with one starfish.


The shores of the ocean are strongly affected by the tide. At low tide, the white beaches offer many surprises to those who wander about. Like these starfish. They are 25-30 centimeters across and they line the sandy beach as they wait for the ocean to return.


This sea slug (Joronna funebris) has just laid its eggs around Hoga island. It lays its eggs in spiral-shaped colonies.


Corals in the night

Corals feed on nutrients that they absorb from algae and plankton. The most common of the hard corals (Tubastraea faulkneri) opens up its polyps at night, dressing the reefs in a lovely orange color.


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We left on the following morning and headed towards the south. The weather was getting progressively worse. After the first dive, I began suffering from a dizziness and could not figure out what could possibly be causing it. I could hardly stand straight on the deck. By contrast, I was just fine under the water. After a few dives at the Tomea Island, we continued on towards Binongko which is further towards the southeast. Relieved that the pouring rain had stopped for a while, I slept on the deck that night.

At about two o'clock in the morning, I woke up to a soft breeze which, within 15-20 seconds, picked up speed. If I did not hold on tightly, I would most certainly have been swept off the deck with the wind which was by now blowing at 80 to 100 kilometers (50-60 mi) an hour. Then came the rain. Actually, calling this phenomenon rain is a severe understatement. It was as though we had run into a wall of water. The anchor could no longer keep us in our place. We had to leave and try to make our way towards Karang Koka in the storm.

When we anchored early in the morning, those of us in the crew that could still get up after yeterday's storm began to dive. The atoll that we were now on was in the southeast and quite far from the islands. Most of the dives were geared towards the initial exploration of the area. Visibility was good but there was a strong current, sometimes reaching four miles an hour. After drifting with the current along the steep walls of the reef for a while, we surfaced.

After another dive that night the wind started picking up speed once more and we decided to go north towards Karang Koromaha. This was a typical round atoll, full of soft corals that I had never seen before. The walls of the atoll reached a depth of 500 meters (1,600 ft.). Inside, the atoll was shallower, allowing hard corals to grow very quickly.

Coral reefs are comparable to rain forests in terms of the variety of species and the complexity of the ecosystem. However, one needs to be trained to be able to observe the different animals in the rain forests. The coral reef, on the other hand, offers every novice the opportunity to be fascinated by the different forms of aquatic life.

Like the rain forest, the coral reef draws most of its energy from the sun. This explains why very few corals live deeper than 60 meters (200 ft.) and none below 100 meters (300 ft.). Coral reefs only form on the eastern sides of large continents. The earth rotates from the west to the east and the winds that are thus created produce cold currents that flow towards the western shores. Coral reefs, in order to thrive, need warm waters between 22 and 29 degrees Centigrade (72-84 F). As a result, while the Indian Ocean side of Africa has many reefs, the Atlantic side has barely any.

I never cease to be amazed at the wealth of life on these reefs. We left Koromaha behind and started towards Wakatobi Islands. Kerang Runduma is one of the finest places to dive on these islands. We arrived at dusk and decided to dive at night. I believe that this was the best night dive I have ever had. I turned on my light and saw scores of shiny eyes and realized that we were being surrounded by a group of sharks that were circling us. This was the first time I had seen sharks on a night dive. I'm sure that it was the first time that they had seen a human at that hour as well. Curious, they first tried to approach us. But then they were scared by our bubbles and lights and swam away.

I had a wide-angle lens in my camera which was good because of the size of the fish around. There were parrot fish, some up to two meters long, that were asleep at seven meters. We were surrounded by all kinds of very large fish that we could not see during the day. Then I ran into another fish, this one about one meter long. My book said that this kind was only found around the reefs of the Atlantic. I could not fit it into my viewfinder and could only photograph its eye. Another huge fish I saw towards the end of the dive had a perplexed look and was trying to figure out what all these lights were supposed to mean in the middle of the night.

In the morning, we were excited to be able to go back down and see it in daylight. We had also gotten word that one of the most serious storms that we were to experience was approaching. We decided to dive. We set up the usual emergency buoy which helps to locate the diver who may be swept away by the undertow. Despite the fact that it was overcast, our visibility under water was 60 meters. We were escorted by schools of fish during the dive. It was obviously the first time that they had seen humans.

It was somewhat of an ordeal to approach our boat, the Empress, to load the equipment. Our captain, tired of being dragged by the current, had used two anchors. It was beginning to become risky to transfer the equipment to the smaller boat before diving. So we decided to dive from the main boat instead. Ten minutes into the dive, we had no choice but to surface as we were beginning to be swept away by the strong current. Since the current had all of a sudden gotten very strong, I was holding on to the chain of the boat with boat hands, having tied my camera to my chest. When we surfaced, we found -- much to our distress -- that there was no boat at the end of the chain. This was serious stuff. Due to the 100 kilometer per hour wind and three meters (10 ft.) waves, the Empress was forced to head out, having tied buoys to the ends of the chains.

It was also almost impossible to get onto the smaller boats. After various attempts, we were able to pull the whole crew onto the small boats and reach the Empress. The waves were still huge, making it difficult for us to embark on the Empress. We decided to hand over the equipment and go back to collect our chains and buoys. Come to think of it, it was insane to dive in this weather. Our only recourse was to seek refuge on Runduma Island.

The storm subsided at sundown. We dove again that night. I tried to photograph some shrimp so small that you could hardly see them resting on a star fish.

We returned to Hoga Island and continued our work regardless of the storm, rain, the lightning that brightened up the night or anything else for that matter. By this time, New Year's was approaching and we began to prepare a meal and a party in its honor. We were getting ready to start the Year of the Coral Reef at the reefs of Tomea Island. After sunset, we blasted the fireworks and watched their marvelous reflections on the water. We decided to be underwater at midnight and prepared to dive. Hoping that these wonderful waters could be adequately protected, we surfaced to a new year.

The ocean gave us our present the following morning. Almost by accident, we discovered an unbelievably beautiful reef. The colonies offered us hundreds of anemones, hard corals that rose out of the water and many, many schools of fish, as though they have been waiting to be discovered that very morning. When we finished the dive, we were all speechless. The only thing we could do was to thank the Pacific for this incredible gift.


Colubrina snake (Laticauda colubrina). This is the most poisonous snake known to man and has completely adapted itself to living under water. It hunts by sticking its head into each and every hole. It has poor eyesight but it more than compensates for this with its keen sense of smell.


A Cephasopholis urodeta around Tomea Island.


Arothron nigropunctatus, another resident of Hoga Island.


Scientists draw a map of the coral reefs of the Tukang Besi Islands in order to be able to observe any changes in the ecosystem over the years.


Lion fish (Pterois radiata). This is a baby lion fish. Even though it already has the poisonous spikes on its back and can fully defend itself against aggressors, it has chosen a soft coral as a hide out.


Tomea Island. One of the 40 variants of butterfly fish (Chaetodon melannotus) that live around the Tukang Besi islands. Since they can only live in healthy reefs, their existence is a positive indicator for the health of the reefs.


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Coral reefs grow in tropical and subtropical oceans. The biggest coral reef is by Australia. It is called the Great Barrier Reef. Most reefs are no deeper than 150 feet, because they need sun light to grow. Coral grows best when the temperature is between 68-95F.

Reefs are made very slowly by corals. Corals are tiny animals, called polyps. They are about the size of a pencil eraser. They make the mounds, boulders and branches of coral. A coral has a soft body, stomach, and mouth surrounded by tentacles. They live in a hard skeleton made of limestone. Corals are hunters. They use their tentacles to capture their prey. The little creatures that corals eat are called zooplankton.

Coral Reefs in the World


The Living World

The reef is home to millions of plants and animals because it offers good feeding and good places to hide. There are more than 4,000 kinds of reef fish. They range in size from 1/2-inch long gobies to 9-foot long sharks.

White-tipped shark have 7 rows of teeth. When one falls out of the front rows, one from behind comes and takes its place. Nurse sharks feed on spiny lobsters and sand crabs. They act like an underwater vacuum cleaner. They suck their prey right out of the cracks in the coral reef. Sea turtles are like humans because they have to breathe air. But unlike humans, sea turtles can hold their breath up to two hours. Snap shrimp live in sponges. The shrimp snaps its big claw to scare away predators. An octopus changes color to camouflage with its background. The tomato clownfish hides in the sea anemones' stinging tentacles. It is protected from stinging by a coating of mucus. The anemone's predators are not. The clownfish scares away predators like the butterfly fish that want to eat the sea anemone.

More Valuable Than We Know

Coral reefs are more than pretty plants and animals. Coral can be used to substitute for human bones by heating it and then shaping the coral. This is used in the leg and chin the most. People get food from the fish and other animals. Coral also can be used for building houses and roads. The plants and animals from the coral reef can be used for medicines. Some chemicals from sponges and coral can slow down cancer.


 Hurricanes make the air and the water move so fast that it destroys the fragile coral.

 The anchors from ships will also break many years of coral growth.

 Off shore oil spills can damage a lot of reef area. Divers taking coral for souvenirs is killing the reefs too.

 Overfishing kills too much food. Other animals will not survive without enough food to eat.

 Most of the fish taken for aquariums will die in less than a year because the chemicals used to catch the fish damage their livers.

 The cities along the shore can be harmful to the reefs because the run off from buildings and manufacturers kills the plants and animals.

What Can Be Done?

Coral reefs are important and beautiful so they need to be protected. At some popular places permanent buoys have been installed so ships don't need to use their anchors. Training shipping companies in better and safer ways of shipping may reduce oil spills. We as customers should not buy coral for our aquariums and homes. To prevent overfishing, we should not take too many fish from one area. When we build cities along the coast we should learn to work without hurting the coral reefs.


Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor. New York: Scholastic Inc. 1992.

Internet: World Wide Web, October 1996.

Internet: World Wide Web, October 1996.

Malnig, Anita. Where the Waves Break - Life at the Edge of the Sea. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc.. 1985.

Pringle, Laurence. Coral Reefs Earths Undersea Treasures. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. 1985.

Steele, Phillip. Do You Know About Life in the Sea?. New York/Toronto: Warwick Press. 1986.

Tayntor, Elizabeth. Dive to the Coral Reefs. New York: Crown Publishers. 1986.

Coral List Submission

By: Derek P. Jones

Status of Canadian Corals

            I am an unemployed inshore fisherman from Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia. While still employed as a hook and line fisherman, I protested the management policies of the Canadian Government for fifteen years. The focus of my constant criticisms of our Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was the continuing degredation of the ocean ecosystem by destructive fishing methods. DFO has failed to acknowledge basic marine or biological sciences in favor of political policies that only benefit the corporate entities of the industry. For the past three years the small group of inshore fishermen and I have been apealing to the public for support for marine science studies in Canada.

            The most popular exhibits at our ocean habitat displays are the specimens of deep-water corals at our display. A woman familiar with this coral list suggested I write this message to you. More and more people that come to our display really demonstrate appreciation and admiration for our work in promoting marine science in our area. We lack the funds to properly travel to spread the knowledge that our deep-water and northern corals need immediate protection but we do the best we can. The schools that we visit always convinces us to come back next year to show-off more unknown exhibits and to explain other mysteries of stock collapse.

            Inshore fishermen from the many Canadian coastal communities developed an understanding of ocean ecosystems from generations of experience at sea. Fishermen protested the mechanization of the Canadian fisheries for generations as well. The quota regimes of today are based on the granting of fisheries resources as property rights to the dragger companies. 90% of Canada’s fishing fleet is comprised of small vessels with hook and line but only receive merely 2 to 4% of existing quotas. The knowledge that we share is derived from our experience as inshore fishermen and the studies of nature as it related to our jobs. All marine sciences are state run in Canada which unfortunately means that oil-drilling, bottom-dragging and monofiliament gillnets are safe while tradtional hook and line fishing is all but outlawed.

             The people that visit our ocean habitat displays claim the the mystery of stock collapse is solved for them. Others claim that they have never even heard of the hundreds of Canadian coral species before although they claim to have taught benthic ecology for years. The Canadian Ocean Habitat Protection Society’s (COHPS) ocean habitat display also features previously undocumented species that occupy Canada’s Great Coral Forest that runs along the continental shelf of Eastern Canada. The display also features red northern soft coral species that provide food for commercial fish species.

            The present abundance of fish, mammals and seabirds currently indicate the status of Canadian deep-water and shaol water corals. Half of the fish stocks were estimated to exist three decades ago when fishermen estimated half of the bottom habitat was disrupted by dragger action. I personally now estimated that over 90% of the coral habitat is destroyed reflecting the present stock abundance indicated extensive ecological collapse. Canada officially blames seals and inshore fishermen for the present state of fish stock abundance which is confirmed by the powerful and mega-rich dragging companies.

            Our coral specimens of our display confirms beyond reasonable doubt that draggers has destroyed the world’s greatest marine ecosystem. We have specimens of seafan that indicate the effects of distant ocean drilling by displaying black ring disease. We also have hard coral specimens of the species Primnoa Resedaeformis that indicate a polluted environment at 5oo meters. We have over 200 specimens of Canadian corals of over a dozen different species that conclusively prove the habitat was destroyed by draggers, scallop draggers, clam dreges, oil drilling and gillnets.


Ahermatypic, Hermatypic What does it all mean?

by Beau Crowley

What are corals? The term coral has several different dictation's, but most commonly it refers to the order scleractinia, all of which have hard limestone skeletons. This order is divided into two main contributors: reef-building and non-reef-building. Most of these two groups are hermatypic and need to aquire sunlight to live. Other organisms do build skeletons similar to those of the same order and these are normally known as non-scleractinian corals.

Others, resemble corals but there is no skeleton (Veron, 1993). Most true corals build massive structures that accumulate that cementarton of skeleton sand a multitude of coral colonies over thousands of years.

Imposing as they are the presence of modern coral reefs is the result of a special relationship between the corral polyp and the unseen single celled algae which live symbiotically within the cells of the polyp.

These algae, which are commonly called Zooxanthaellae, belong to a group of unicellular brown organisms known as dinoflagellates. Most flagellantes are part of the phytoplankton of shallow tropical seas where they are a food contributor for zooplankton.

A few members of this group are less benign, occasionally causing lethal red tides and shellfish poisoning. Like land plants Zooxanthaellae are able to use the sunlight in photosynthesis. Making their own food from CO2.

Symbiotic algae benefit hermapyditic corals in two ways. Firstly, 94 to 98 percent of all the organic nutrients are produced by the Zooxanthaellae, and is used as the major food source by the coral polyp. Secondly, due to photosynthesis of zooxanthaellae, hermaphditic corals re able to deposit their limestone skeletons 2 to 3 times faster in light rather than the dark.

Light enhances the rat of calcification and enables reefs to grow faster than they are broken down by the natural processes of the sea and eroding organisms (Veron 1993).

Even coral larvae contained zooxanthaellae, they are obtained directly from their parent polyp during their free swimming stage. The algae multiply as the coral grows and they are responsible for the brown colors in the hermatypic corals. Due to environmental stress, the algae can be expelled by the coral as we will see later in case studies.

Ahermatypic corals that do not contain zooxanthaellae are not restricted to high light intensities waters and can exist at almost any depth in these corals all nutrition comes from plankton. Less than one thirds of all ahermatypes found in the ocean are colonial (Veron 1993).

These observations raise several questions about evolution of corals and coral reefs. Which evolved first, corals or the algae zooxanthellae?

Were the corals that helped build Paleozoic reefs hermatypic? At this point no accurate way of distinguishing hermatypic from ahermatypic fossils. Many corals have evolved in deep water forms and continue to evolve independently.

These may or may not have came from shallow reefs and contained zooxanthellae and their tissues. It seems likely that the symbiotic relationship played some role in ancient reef development, but perhaps a lesser one than it does today. like a patch work of a miniature forest, the coral reef is made of different communities each separate from the other. But somehow linked to the next community by a complex web of ecological interactions.

Each reef builds a series of narrow bands or zones that has its own environmental conditions, gradient. The most important factors of reef dynamics are light availability, wave action, salinity, and tital range.

All of these factors work together to form a complex ecological gradient. These factors are related especially where wave action affects sediments and this affects visibility in turn affects water clarity and light availability. Most hermatypic corals require light for photosynthesis of the zooxanthellae that are contained within the tissues.

The light changes as water depth increases intensity and composition are both affected. The changing intensity is not visible to underwater divers, but photographers know that camera flash lights must be used for intensity and color balance. Even though the water may be clear. Due to light requirements in different corals, complex communities may evolve.

The different zones will allow for different lighting conditions and water clarity. This may be due to sediment type, tidal zone, and geological contour, of a certain reef type.

The second controlling factor is wave action. Wave action reaches extremes on the reef fronts and the outer flats on a calm day a reef front a benign appearance. The small waves due to tides disturb the peace and yet during a storm the site have a very srtong wave action. As a wave comes in building huge force a long the fore-reef and crashed down on the outer flat. In this case few species will survive such pounding . Only a few hundred meters away on the lower reef slope there may be little or no water movement at all.

Different types of sediment exist on and around a coral reef these include coral rubble in different sixes from sand to mud. But it all depend son the exposure to currents and wave actions. Different sizes and different organic components can reduce light penetration and can kill certain organisms as corals, either by choking their polyps or burying them, not allowing the zooxanthellae to photosynthesize.

In rare instances salinity of sea water will become high enough to affect coral communities One place is shark bay, where a large amount of water is landlocked and combined with a low title range to produce a salinity which may be high enough to kill corals. Reef flat corals are generally tolerant of short periods of low salinity. But when heavy rainfall and very low tides combine or follow one another, communities may be damaged or destroyed.

Like all other organisms corals require food and inorganic nutrients to live. Hermatypic corals have two major food sources organic nutrients produced and excreted by the symbiotic zooxanthellae into the tissues of the host. The second source comes from their prey in which case is free floating plankton.

Corals growing in shallow clear water communities normally have small polyps. Their main diet consist of sugars that are fed through the photosynthesis. However they can supplement their diet with small zooplankton, mainly at night. Most coral reefs exist in a poor inorganic nutrient environment . Phosphates, nitrates and iron are only at trace levels. Yet they have a productivity that are similar to the rainforest.

Colonies of corals and their zooxanthellae absorb dissolved nutrients from sea water and recycle nutrients from the waste of one another.

Since reef as themselves receive only low nutrient levels from the surrounding ocean it must conserve and recycle. The relationship of zooxanthellae and corals have developed and efficiency that can only be achieved through self regulating processes which, when combined, make up nutrient cycles of most reef inhabitants(Veron 1993).

Cilia, nematocyst, gastrodermis, mesoglea and ectodermis all form the coral polyp. A group of simply structured organisms which also include the jelly fish, soft corals and hydroids.

The coral polyp is an basically an anemone like animal except it secretes a skeleton. Some corals are free swimming and look just like anemones with their tentacles are and spread open and swollen with inhaled sea water. Others are colonial and these are the reef building corals.

A coral polyp is a sac with a single mouth at the top with a circle of tentacles protecting the center. The mouth leads into a short straight tube labeled as the pharynx, this opens into the body cavity . The body wall of a polyp is composed of two layers, the ectodermis on the outside and the gastrodermis on the inside.

These layers are separated by mesoglea which is initially non cellular but will contain a wide range of cell types after initial growth.

The extended polyp with its anemone like appearance has tentacles composed of the same two layers. The gastrodermis, the inner-cell layer has specialized cells for digestion which occurs in the body cavity is partly inside the gastrodermis cells themselves (intercellular digestion). Because the body cavity of the surrounding polyps are all interconnected the polyps of a colony share nutrients.

They do not compete against one another. The gastrodermis id the layer that houses the Zooxanthellae, the single celled algae which exist within the gastrodermal cells themselves and are necessary to the growth of most corals. These cells are minute in six ranging from 0.008-0.012mm in diameter. Zooxantellae exist in enormous numbers of the polyp tissues.

Photosynthesis has allowed reflex structured to be built by plants and has allowed reefs to be built by a variety of animals that act as plants due to symbiosis. Zooxanthellae symbiosis is so effective that algae not only meet most of the host requirement of their host but allow their host to act as the primary producer.

The modern reefs have a gross productivity that exceeds most ecosystems. the subject of symbiosis attracts a wide range of theories. The term symbiosis can be defined as the living together of differently named organisms. Endosymbionts (living within a host animal) is the term zooxanthellae is given . Zooxanthellae are a composite of many families and perhaps classes of flagellants.

The formal links of this term with algae, taxonomy and the lack of applicability of them to fossil records, exclude it from being readily accepted as a functional descriptor(Vernon 1995, Schumacher and Zibrowius 1985), have complied an inventory of uses and misuses of the term zooxanthellate.

Zooxanthellate now means with endosymbiotib primary producers. Color variations in corals are most difficult to generalize about, mainly because they involve so many different categories. But also because they have so many different casual relationships, involving their zooxanthellate symbionts.

Some species have specific color or colors, and can also range due to geographic locations. The most common variations in color are correlated with the physical environment especially light.

Colonies that are exposed to intense light are relatively pale. Massive colonies in shallow water are often pale at the top and with dark sides. Where as colonies of the same species in deeper water are one complete color. This is due to the density and color growing in the zooxanthellae(Veron 1995).

Acropora prolifera yellowish brown similar to Acropora cervicornis with branches joining where they cross. Looks almost as one species (Smith 1971).

Population dynamics of zooxanthellae in corals is being researched as we speak. Population of symbiotic zooxanthellae are characterized by low growth rates relative to populations of cultured zooxanthellae. The low growth rated exhibited by zooxanthellae have been cited as evidence of the host influence over the metabolism of symbiotic algae. Either passively through restricted access to space and nutrients, or actively through host specific mitogenic or sytogenic factors (Ove Hoegh-guldberg 1994).

A key experiment in identifying the importance of passive "control" mechanisms is to supply excess of a particular nutrient, and examine the response of the the growth rate of zooxanthellae. If an increase in the growth rate occurs after the adding of a nutrient then the passive supply of the nutrient is an important factor in explaining the low growth rate of zooxanthellae.

In contrast there is limited information on the biochemical composition of symbiotic algae (Fadlallah 1983).

Ammonium and Phosphate enrichment on the carbohydrate, lipid, and protein content of both zooxanthellae and coral tissue of stylophoraphistllata analysis of coral tissues showed no trends with treatments. However in zooxanthellae carbohydrate content deverased under ammonium enrichment.

The difference between free living algae and symbiotic algae in terms of fate in their metabolites. and the free living phytoplankton. Most of the excess metabolites are directed toward cell reproduction. In symbiotic zooxanthellae most of the metabolites are translocated and used up by the host (Davis 1984, Muscatine Et al. 1984)

In most shallow waters of coral reefs hard corals soft corals and gorgonians can be found and contain zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae play an important part in nutrition and calcification of their host they may also contribute defensive chemicals which assist the host in surviving predation and competition for space on coral reef locations.

Zooxanthellae contribute considerable organic matter to the sediments some of which may serve as chemical markers. A wide variety if sterols are found in zooxanthellae. some have been used to trace and identify coral devouring predators. The sterol pattern of zooxanthellae isolated from various host vary indicate the occurrence many different species.

The chemistry of the algae in the host differs from the motile form grown in azenic culture (Ciereszko 1989). Eunicinis produced by the gorgonain coral E. manosa in large quantity as a defensive chemical that affects a wide variety of organisms (Ciereszko 1989) like most coral organisms .

The motile forms a zooxanthellae have been considered to be one species, but accumulating evidence indicates that their may be many (Ciereszko 1989) (Trench Blank 1987).Kokkeetal(1981) examine the sterile composition of zooxanthellae from three Caribbean gorgonianes. They found sterile compositions of the three zooxanthellae cultures to be different from one another.

(Withers et al. 1982) found that cultures of Zooxanthellae from the sea anemoe Aiptasia pulchella can synthesizes the unique steroles gorgosterol and twenty three-demethylgorgosterol. They found that there are large differences in zooxanthellae. And that there are no taxonomic affiliation of the host and the sterile patterns of the zooxanthellae.

Studies of the chemistry of corals contains zooxanthellae have led to the discovery of a large variety of natural products, that may be relevant to taxonomy chemical ecology and biochemistry. The difference in sterole patterns found in zooxanthellae supports the current view that there are many types of zooxanthellae. The unique present of sterols such as gorgosterol in zooxanthellae allows the use of bio- markers in sediments and tracers and predatory animals. The active chemical compounds such as prostaglanins and a large variety of terpenoids in animals containing zooxanthellae serve as a defense mechanism in deterring prededation in discouraging settling of larvae competing for space on the crowded coral reef (Ciereszko 1989).

Literature cited given upon request.

: International Year of the Reef - Coral Reef Bibliography>

Table of Contents>














© Dave Gulko 1997 - May be reproduced for educational purposes only




<Picture: Key to Icons>








Identification Guides








Primarily deals with Hawai'i

or Hawaiian organisms















Also contains info on coral reef fishes









Technical science stuff








Highly Recommended








Good resource for teens/kids











<Picture><Picture: Coral Biology and Ecology>






"The Annual Coral Spawning Event on the Great Barrier Reef"

IN: Reef Notes, July '86 . Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Townsville, Australia. ISSN 0814-9453. Nicely produced and informative newsletter published a couple of times a year with articles about coral ree f ecology on the Great Barrier Reef.






Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs (Volumes I and IV)

edited by O. A. Jones and R. Endean (1976). Academic Press; NY, NY. ~430pp. each. In-depth series consisting of two volumes dealing with the geology and two volumes dealing with the biology of coral reefs.






Coelenterate Biology: Review and Perspectives

edited by L. Muscatine and H. M. Lenhoff (1974). Academic Press; NY, NY. 501pp. Collection of cnidarian physiology papers; good chapter on nematocysts.






The Coral Reef at Night

by J. S. Levine (1993). Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; NY, NY. 192pp. Beautiful coffee table book showing the reef and many of its inhabitants during their nocturnal phase.






Coral Reef Population Biology

edited by P. Jokiel, R. H. Richmond, and R. Rogers (1984). Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology Technical Report #37; Sea Grant Cooperative Report UNIHI-SEAGRANT-CR-86-01. 498pp. Great collection of papers concerning coral reef ecology, mostly in terms of Kane'ohe Bay, Hawai'i.






Coral Reefs

by H. Breidahl (1994). MacMillian Education Australia Pty, Ltd.; Melbourne, Australia. 40pp.






Coral Reefs

by L. Holiday (1989). Tetra Press; Morris Plains, NJ. 204pp. Interesting guide to diving coral reefs around the world; some good natural history information.






Coral Reefs

by S. A. Johnson (1984). A Lerner Natural Science Book, Lerner Publications; Minneapolis, MN.






Coral Reefs

by J. Wood (1987). Scholastic Inc.; NY, NY. 31pp Well written introductory guide for young children.






Coral Reefs and Islands

by W. Gray (1993). David and Charles; Cambridge. 192pp. Interesting reading, lots of info on coral reef and island natural history. Oriented towards the Great Barrier Reef and the Central Indo-Pacific. .






Coral Reefs in the South Pacific

by M. King (1988). South Pacific Regional Environment Programme Regal Press; Launceton, Australia. 40pp. Very short, cartoon-like booklet written as an introductory guide for peoples of the South Pacific.






Coral Reefs of the World Volumes 1, 2 and 3

edited by S. Wells (1988). The United Nations Environment Programme and The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; Cambridge, England. ~380pp each. A three volume set (one for each of the major tropical ocean areas) cons isting of compilations of information on coral reefs of international importance. Contains a wealth of information. Vol. 3 contains info about Pacific reefs including Hawai'i.







by W. E. Burgess (1979). T. F. H. Publications, Inc.; Neptune City, NJ. 93pp. Very short, but overall guide to corals.






Corals and Coral Reefs in the Caribbean: A Manual for Students, 2nd ed.

by E. Williams and A. Edwards (1993). Caribbean Conservation Association. 70pp Excellent introductory guide with in-book and follow-up activities.






Corals and Coral Reefs of the Galapogos Islands

by P. W. Glynn and G. M. Wellington (1983). University of California Press; Berkeley, CA. 330pp.






Corals in Space and Time

by J. E. N. Veron (1995). Cornell University Press; Ithaca, NY. 321pp. Amazing book covering everything you ever wanted to know about the evolution , biogeography and paleontology of corals. Highly theoretical and intriguing reading.






Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific

by J. E. N. Veron (1993). University of Hawaii Press; Honolulu, HI. 644pp. The ultimate in coffee table books for the affectionate coral "groupie". A phenomenal piece of work - great information on reef formation and species accounts on every known Pacifi c coral.






Corals of the World

by E. M. Wood (1983). T. F. H. Publications, Inc.; Neptune City, NJ. 256pp ID guide to major genera of corals; divided into Atlantic and Pacific Ocean groupingss. Appendix of distributional maps.






Dive to the Coral Reefs

by E. Tayntor, P. Erickson and L. Kaufman (1986). A New England Aquarium Book, Crown Publishers, Inc.; NY, NY.






Ecosystems of the World 25: Coral Reefs

edited by Z. E. Dubinsky (1990). Elsevier; Amsterdam. 525pp. One of the most thorough volumes available, with contributions by all the big names who work on corals and coral reef systems. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field.






The Greenpeace Book of Coral Reefs

by S. Wells and N. Hanna (1992). Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.; NY. 160pp. A great resource guide for man's effects on coral reefs.






Guide to the Coastal Resources of Guam: Vol. 2 The Corals

by R. H. Randall and R. F. Myers (1983). University of Guam Press; Guam. 128pp.






A Guide to the Identification of the Living Corals (Scleractinia) of Southern California

by J. C. Bythelle (1986). San Diego Society of Natural History; San Diego, CA. 40pp. Field guide to corals (primarily ahermatypic) found along the southwestern coast of the United States.






The Hawaiian Coral Reef Coloring Book

by K. Orr (1992). Stemmer House Publishers, Inc.; Owing Mills, MD. 48pp. Amazing amount of quality information in a short, well written and illustrated coloring book.






Hawaii's Precious Corals

by R. W. Grigg (1977). Island Heritage; Norfolk Island, Australia. 64pp. Could have more info on biology/ecology, but still a great resource on man's interactions and marketing of precious corals.






Living Coral Reefs of the World

by D. Kuhlman (1985). Arco Publishing, Inc.; NY, NY. 185pp. Excellent resource for all aspects of coral reef ecology.






Living Corals

by B. Robins (1980). Les Editions De Pacifique; Papeepe, Tahiti. 144pp. Very good, inexpensive guide to tropical Pacific corals, their physiology and ecology.






A Natural History of the Coral Reef

by C. R. Shepard (1983). Blanford Books, Ltd.; Britain. 153pp.






Peterson Field Guides: Coral Reefs

by E. H. Kaplan (1982). Houghton Mifflin Company; Boston, MA. 288pp. Great field guide to all aspects of Caribbean coral reefs including corals and other invertebrates, and fish .






Reef Coral Identification: Florida-Caribbean-Bahamas

by P. Humann (1993). New World Publications; Jacksonville, FL. 239pp. Probably the best picture guide book currently available for Caribbean waters. Accurate, very thorough and well documented. Also includes information on sea grasses and seaweeds.






Reef and Shore Fauna of Hawaii - Section I: Protozoa - Ctenophora

edited by D. M. Deveney and L. G. Eldredge (1977). Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu, HI. 278pp. The only major reference guide out on Hawaiian reef corals. Also great for information on other c nidarians, ctenophores, sponges and foraminiferans.






The World Heritage: Coral Reefs

by A. R. de Larramendi (1993). UNESCO, Chidren's Press; Chicago. 33pp. Very short guide to the two World Heritage sites that are coral reefs: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.








<Picture><Picture: Coral Reefs and Conservation Biology>






Coastal Environments in the South Pacific

by M. King (1989). South Pacific Regional Environment Programme Regal Press; Launceston, Australia. 40pp. Very short, cartoon-like booklet written as an introductory guide for peoples of the South Pacific.






Conservation Biology in Hawai'i

edited by C. P. Stone and D. B. Stone (1989). Cooperative National Park Resource Studies Unit, University of Hawaii; Honolulu, HI. 252pp. Includes sections on island formation, endangered species, anchialine ponds, etc. Heavy terrestrial focus.






Global Marine Biological Diversity

edited by E. A. Norse (1993). Center for Marine Conservation, Island Press; Washington, D.C. 383pp. Great resource volume for information and views concerning various aspects of marine conservation and threats to biological diversity.






The Marine Curio Trade: Conservation Guidelines and Legislation

edited by S. Wells and E. Wood (1991). Marine Conservation Society, Herefordshire, UK. 23pp. Great little booklet detailing the laws concerning trade in dead marine organisms.






Our Coral Reefs

by S. Soule (1994). ICLARM; Manila, Phillipines.






Rescue the Reef, Coloring Activities Book

by R. Stec (1993). RMS Publishing for the Nature Company; Birmingham, MI.






Save Our Coral Reefs

by D. E. Miller and A. Ansula (1993). Ocean Voice International; Ottawa, Canada. 126pp. Excellent manual on human impacts, cultural effects, and conservation actions. Written for the Phillipines. Great reference section and appendix of environmental organ izations.








<Picture><Picture: Coral Reef Fish>






Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World, Vol. 1 and2

R. C. Steene (1977). Mergus Publishers Hans A. Baensch; Melle, Germany. 144pp.






The Butterflyfishes: Success on the Coral Reef

edited by P. J. Motta (1989). Kluwer Academic Publishers; The Netherlands. 256pp. Includes chapters on all aspects of butterflyfish ecology, written by experts in the field.






Discovering Sharks

by S. H. Gruber (1991). American Littoral Society; Highlands, NJ. 122pp. Great compilation of short descriptive papers on shark biology and ecology, each written by an expert in the field. Could be used by intermediate and high school students.






The Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs

edited by P. F. Sale (1991). Academic Press, Inc.; San Diego, CA. 447pp. Great compilation by most of the major researchers in coral reef fish ecology. Written for those with some science background; especially those who plan to work in the field.






Encyclopedia of Fishes

edited by J. R. Paxton and W. N. Eschmeyer (1995). Academic Press; San Diego, CA. 240pp. Good general introduction to the evolution and ecology of fishes. Descriptive guide to the wide diversity of fish families found throughout the world.






Feeding Ecology of Fish

by S. D. Gerking (1994). Academic Press; San Diego, CA. 416pp. Extensive book exploring the wide diversity of feeding adaptations in marine fish. Details the ecology of each of the major feeding guilds.






Field Guide to Anemonefishes and their Host Anemones

by D. G. Fautin and G. R. Allen (1992). Western Australian Museum; Perth, WA. 160pp. Complete field guide to the large variety of anemonefish species and their distributions. Good ecological and aquarium information.






Fishwatching in Hawaii

by R.B. Carpenter and B.C. Crpenter (1981). Natural World Press; San Mateo, CA. 120pp. Inexpensive, easy reading. Contains a wealth of simple information on the natural history of fishes.






Hawaii's Fishes: A Guide for Divers and Snorkelers

by J. P. Hoover (1993). Mutual Publishing; Honolulu, HI. 178pp. One of the best picture guide book currently available for Hawaiian waters. Accurate, very thorough and well-documented. Excellent photography.






Micronesian Reef Fishes

by R. F. Myers (1989). Coral Graphics; Barrigada, Guam. 298pp. Excellent guide to the majority of reef fishes found throughout the central Pacific. Contains a wide variety of information for each group of fish; beginning of the book does a good job of int roducing reef fish ecology.






Mysteries and Marvels of Ocean Life

by R. Morris (1983). Usborne Publishing Ltd,; London, UK. 32pp. Fun look at marine animal adaptations. Great cartoons and graphics.






Native Use of Fish in Hawaii, 2nd ed.

by M. Titcomb (1972). University of Hawaii Press; Honolulu, HI. 175pp. Excellent resource for Hawaiiana aspects of reef fish..






Reef Fish: Behavior and Ecology on the Reef and in the Aquarium

by R. E. Thresher (1980). The Palmetto Publishing Co.; St. Petersburg, FL. 171pp. Great species accounts, covering a wide variety of ecological conditions, centered on Atlantic species.






Reef Fish Identification: Florida-Caribbean-Bahamas, 2nd ed.

by P. Humann (1995). New World Publications; Jacksonville, FL. 392pp. Probably the best picture guide book currently available for Caribbean waters. Accurate, very thorough and well-documented. This book is very interesting in how it groups fish and uses morphological structures for field identification.






Reef Sharks and Rays of the World

S. W. Michael (1993). Sea Challengers; Monterey, CA. 107pp. Great descriptive field guide to the wide diversity of reef sharks found throughout the world. Interesting appendix on mating behavior.






Reproduction in Reef Fishes

by R. E. Thresher (1984). T. F. H. Publications; Neptune City, NJ. 399pp. Great reference work on reproduction in coral reef fishes though centered almost entirely on Atlantic species.






Sharks of Hawai'i: Their Biology and Cultural Significance

by L. Taylor (1994). University of Hawaii Press; Honolulu, HI. 126pp. Excellent resource guide for natural history and Hawaiiana concerning the major species of sharks found in Hawaii.






Sharks of Polynesia

by R. H. Johnson (1978). Les Editions De Pacifique; Papeepe, Tahiti. 170pp. Excellent, inexpensive book containing a lot of information on sharks found in the tropical Pacific (including Hawaii). Identification, native and modern uses, biology.






Shore Fishes of Hawai'i

by J. R. Randall (1996). Natural World Press; Vida, OR. 216pp. Very complete photo guide to Hawaiian fishes. Male, female and juvenile shots for many species. Good glossary at the end.






Shore Fishing in Hawaii

by E. Y. Hosaka (1973). Petroglyph Press; Hilo, HI. 175pp. Originally published in 1944; good source for info on Hawaiian names, use and fishing techniques.






Underwater Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes

by J. R. Randall (1981). Natural World Press; Vida, OR. 216pp. Waterproof photo guide to most Hawaiian reef fishes. Non-waterproof version contains species and family descriptions.






Watching Fishes: Life and Behavior on Coral Reefs

by R. Wilson and J. Q. Wilson (1985). Harper and Row Publishers; NY, NY. 275pp. Interesting reading on the behavior of reef fish covering a wide breadth of material; centered on Atlantic coral reefs.








<Picture><Picture: Coral Reef Invertebrates>


<Picture>-- Also contains info on coral reef fishes





All About Lobsters, Crabs, Shrimps and Their Relatives

by R. Headstrom (1979). Dover Publications; NY, NY. 143pp. A lot of information, but mostly concerning species that are not found in Hawai'i.






Armoured Knights of the Sea

by H. Debelius (1983). Zweigniederlassung der Reimar hubbing GmbH; Esse, Germany. 120pp. Contains a lot of information about ecological aspects of shrimps and crabs.






Coping with Stardom, The Lives of Starfish

in WATERS: The Journal of the Vancouver Aquarium (1977). Vol. 2, no. 4, 4th quarter. 32pp. Short pamphlet on the biology of seastars.






Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific

by T. Gosliner, D. Behrens and G. Williams (1996). Sea Challengers; Monterey, CA. 314pp. Extensive photo field guide geared towards the central Indo-Pacific region.






A Coral Reef Handbook, 3rd ed. <Picture>

edited by P. Mather and I. Bennett (1979). Surrey, Beatty and Sons Pty, Ltd; Chipping Norton, NSW, Australia. 264pp. Extensive field guide for coral reef and cay animals. Geared primarily for the Great Barrier Reef.






The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

by The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (1987). Australia Science Magazine; Townsville, Australia. 54pp. Short, but highly informative guide to Acanthaster planci.






Fishwatching in Hawaii

by R. B. Carpenter and B. C. Carpenter (1981). Natural World Press; San Mateo, CA. 120pp. Inexpensive, easy reading. Contains a wealth of simple information on the natural history of fishes.






A Guide to Coastal Plankton and Marine Invertbrate Larvae

by D. L. Smith (1977). Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.; Duboque, Iowa. 161pp.






A Guide to the World of the Jellyfish

by E. Campbell (1992). The Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation; Monterey, CA. 16pp. Short booklet on sea jellies; limited information but very nice photos.






Hawaiian Marine Shells

by E. A. Kay (1979). Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu, HI. 654pp. Second in the Bishop Museum series on Hawaiian reef and shore fauna. Extensive accounts on the vast majority of Hawaiian marine molluscs. Great for ID use, though not a picture guide.






Hawaiian Nudibranchs

by H. Bertsch and S. Johnson (1981). Oriental Publishing Co.; Honolulu, HI. 112pp. Nice picture guide to Hawaiian nudibranchs, sea hares and bubble shells. Not alot of information.






Hawaiian Reef Animals, 2nd ed.<Picture>

by E. Hobson and E. H. Chave (1990). University of Hawai'i Press; Honolulu, HI. 136pp. Contains a lot of good information about organisms (mostly fish but with a fair amount of inverts) on Hawaiian coral reefs.






Hawaiian Reefs: A Natural History Guide<Picture>

by R. Russo (1994). Wavecrest Publications; San Leandro, CA. 173pp. Good guide to Hawaiian inverts and fish. Limited natural history information. Also contains information on coral reef fishes.






Hawaiian Reefs and Tidepools

by A. Fielding (1985). Oriental Publishing Co.; Honolulu, HI. 103pp. An inexpensive, well-written guide to Hawaiian shallow-water invertebrates.






Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide

by G. R. Allen and R. Steene (1994). Tropical Reef Research; Singapore







by R. C. Brusca and G. J. Brusca (1990). Sinaur Associates, Inc.; Sunderland, MA. 922pp. Extensive textbook on invertebrates; excellent chapters on arthropods.






The Invertebrates: Function and Form, A Laboratory Guide

by I. Sherman (1976). Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.; NY, NY. 334pp. Excellent pictorial guide; goes into a lot of detail about morphology and physiology of major invertebrate groups.






Invertebrate Zoology, 6th ed.

by R. D. Barnes and E. E. Rupert (1994). Saunders College; Philadelphia, PA. 1089pp. Considered by many to be the "bible" of invertebrate textbooks.






Living Seashells

by S. Johnson (1981). Oriental Publishing; Honolulu, HI. 116pp. Inexpensive, nicely photographed book showing LIVE molluscs (as opposed to the dead shells usually seen in ID books).






The Living Shores of South Africa<Picture>

by G. Branch and M. Branch (1981). C. Struik (Pty) Ltd.; Cape Town, South Africa 272pp. Excellent book on coastal ecosytems found in southern Africa. The descriptions of adaptations and physiology of inverts and fish are applicable to many Hawaiian organi sms. Excellent diagrams.






Living Together in the Sea

by L. P. Zann (1980). T. F. H. Publications; Neptune City, NJ. 416pp. The definitive book on all aspects of marine symbiotic relationships.






Native Use of Invertebrates in Old Hawaii

by M. Titcomb (1979). University of Hawai'i Press; Honolulu, HI. 61pp. Excellent resource for Hawaiiana aspects of marine invertebrates, including native uses of cnidarians.







by T. E. Taylor (1976). T. F. H. Publications; Neptune City, NJ. 96pp. Good resource for information on a variety of nudibranchs and their biology.






Partnerships in the Sea: Hong Kong's Marine Symbioses<Picture>

by B. Morton (1987). Hong Kong University Press; Hong Kong. 120pp. Excellent guide defining different types of symbiotic relationships.






Reef Creature Identification: Florida-Caribbean-Bahamas

by P. Humann (1992). New World Publications; Jacksonville, FL. 320pp. Probably the best picture guide available for the Caribbean region. Accurate, very thorough and well-documented.






Sand to Sea: Marine Life of Hawaii

by S. Feeney and A. Fielding (1989). University of Hawai'i Press; Honolulu, HI.






Shells of Hawai'i

by E. A. Kay and O. Schoenberg-Dole (1991). University of Hawai'i Press; Honolulu, HI. 89 pp. Interesting short book on Hawaiian marine shells, contains information on natural history.






Tropical Pacific Invertebrates

by P. L. Colin and C. Arneson (1994). Coral Reef Press; Beverley Hills, CA. 296pp. Extensive photo field guide geared towards the central Indo-Pacific region.






An Underwater Guide to Hawai'i <Picture>

by A. Fielding and E. Robinson (1987). University of Hawai'i Press; Honolulu, HI. 156pp. An expanded follow-up to Fielding's previous work; this work deals extensively with reef fish but has a good section on inverts.






The Weird and the Beautiful: The Story of the Portuguese Man-of-War, the Sailors-by-the-Wind, and Their Exotic Relatives of the Deep.

by R. Headstrom (1984). Cornwall Books; NY, NY. 194pp. Interesting book detailing hydrozoans and other cnidarians.








<Picture><Picture: Coral Reef Plants and Seaweeds>






The Limu Eater

by H. J. Fortner (1978). University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program, Honolulu, HI. UNIHI-SEAGRANT-MR-79-01. 102pp. First section of the book is dedicated to hawaiiana about seaweeds and their natura l history. Second half is filled with recipes.







by R. E. Lee (1980). Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, England. 478pp. Standard textbook on microalgae (diatoms, dinoflagellates) and macroalgae.






Seaweeds of Hawaii

by W. H. Magruder and J. W. Hunt (1979). Oriental Publishing Co.; Honolulu, HI. 116pp. Excellent picture guide to Hawaiian marine macroalgae.








<Picture><Picture: Children's Nature-Based Fiction>






At Home in the Coral Reef

by K. Muzik (1992). Charlesbridge; Watertown, MA.






Ellisella the Coral

by K. Muzik (1986). Mitchiaki Ogawa, Libro Port Publishing Co., Ltd.; Tokyo, Japan.







by G. Carlin (1986). Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Townsville, Australia.






The Reef and the Wrasse

by S. Steere and K. M. Ring (1988). Harbinger House, Inc.; Tuscon, AZ.








<Picture><Picture: Videos and CD-ROMs>






Coral Kingdom CD-ROM

Digital Studios; Aptos, CA (1994). Version 1.0 for Windows. Interactive CD-ROM with 180 page teacher guide.






Coral Sea Dreaming ... An Evolving Balance Video

(1993). Coral Sea Imagery, and Natural Symphonies. 55 minutes. Educational edition includes time-coding to allow identification of organisms. Includes a resource guide with basic coral reef ecology information. Video has no voiceover but is stunning in it s cinematography. Great coral spawning shots.






Far From the Cradle: Reef Fishes of Hawai'i Video

Waikiki Aquarium Production (1985). 20 minutes.






The Fragile Ring of Life Video

National Audiovisual Center (1996). 54 minutes. Reviews impacts on coral reefs worldwide. Case studies on locally-based conservation efforts.






Hawaiian Jellyfish

Waikiki Aquarium Production (1992). Diversity and biology of jellies and their relatives in Hawai'i.






Jean Michel Cousteau's World: Volume I - Cities Under the Sea, Coral Reefs CD-ROM

Enteractive, Inc (1995). Version 1.0 for Windows. Fun, interactive CD-ROM that places the user on a submarine that visits various underwater laboratories where coral reef research can be explored.






SeaSearch: Exploring Tropical Marine Life CD-ROM

Moanalua Gardens Foundation (1995). Distributed by Glenco. Focused on Hawaiian species.






Underwater Surveying Techniques Video

University of Hawai'i Marine Option Program production (1992). Demonstrates various ways that scientists survey coral reef species.








<Picture><Picture: Sea Turtles>






Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles, 2nd ed.

World Conference on Sea Turtle Conservation (1995). Smithsonian Institution; Washington, D. C. 615pp. Updated training manual for researchers on the biology and natural history of sea turtles.






Draft Hawaiian Sea Turtle Recovery Plan

National Marine Fisheries Service (1989). U. S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, NMFS, Southwest Fisheries Center; Honolulu, HI. 108pp. Draft recovery plan for the threatened Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle and the endangered Hawaiian Hawksbill Sea Turtle.






Hawaiian Reptiles and Amphibians

by S. McKeown (1978). The Oriental Publishing Co.; Honolulu, HI. 34pp. Some information on sea turtles and sea snakes, but mostly terrestrial.






Hawaii's Sea Birds , Turtles and Seals

by G. H. Balazs (1976). Worldwide Distributors, Ltd.; Honolulu, HI. 34pp. Short pictorial guide.






Manual of Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Techniques, 2nd ed.

Prepared for the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium; San Jose, Costa Rica (1983). Center for Environmental Education; Wachington, D.C. 125pp.






Sea Turtles

by J. Ripple (1996). Voyageur Press; Stillwater, MN. 84pp. Great photos, up-to-date information, nice layout.






Sea Turtles of the South Pacific

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (1993). S.P.R.E.P.; Noumea, New Caledonia. 4pp. This very short pamphlet is full of information about the major sea turtle species in the area, their life cycles and migration patterns. Short section about huma n impacts.






So Excellent a Fish: A Natural History of Sea Turtles

by A. Carr (1973). Anchor Press; NY, NY. 266pp. A lot of information and stories, though much of it is oriented towards the Caribbean and Atlantic.






Synopsis of Biological Data on the Green Sea Turtle in the Hawaiian Islands

by G. H. Balazs (1980). U. S. Dept. of Commerce, N.O.A.A., N.M.F.S., Southwest Fisheries Center; Honolulu, HI. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFS-7. 34pp.








<Picture><Picture: Coral Reef Monitoring Guides>






Coral Reef Monitoring Handbook: Reference Methods for Marine Pollution Studies No. 25, 2nd ed.

South Pacific Commission (1984). United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and South Pacific Regional Educational Programme (SPREP); Noumea, New Caledonia. 25pp. A short booklet outlining basic techniques. Includes sample data sheets.






The Ecology of Coral Reefs

edited by M. L. Reaka (1985). Symposia Series for Undersea Research, Vol. 3, No. 1. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA; Washington, D.C. 208pp. A series of edited papers on coral reef research and technique development.






The Ecology of Deep and Shallow Coral Reefs

edited by M. L. Reaka (1983). Symposia Series for Undersea Research, Vol. 1, No. 1. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA; Washington, D.C. 149pp. A series of edited papers on coral reef research and technique development.






Quantitative Ecology and Marine Biology

by G. J. Bakus (1990). Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt., Ltd.; New Delhi, India. 157pp. Primarily developed for use in India, this book presents standard surveying techniques in a simple manner for college-level students.






Survey Manual for Tropical Marine Resources

edited by S. English, C. Wilkinson and V. Baker (1994). Australian Institute of Marine Science; Townsville, Australia. 368pp. Very well written, with information on techniques for surveying coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses and soft-bottom habitats. Includes information on sampling design and monitoring programs.






The Underwater Catalog: A Guide to Methods in Underwater Research

by J. Coyer and J. Witman (1990). Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University; Ithaca, NY. 72pp. Short, inexpensive booklet outlining techniques and resources for conducting underwater transects.








<Picture><Picture: General Marine Education and Teachers' Resources>






Coastal Environments Teacher's Kit

by M. King (1988). South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme; Noumea, New Caledonia.






Coral: A Hawaiian Resource

by A. Fielding and B. Moniz (1977). Department of Education, Office of Instructional Services; Honolulu, HI. Yet another hard to find, out of print booklet. Good basic information.






The Coral Forest Teacher's Guide and Slideshow

by Coral Forest (1996). Coral Forest; San Francisco, CA. Contains classroom lesson plans for K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Very well done. Good reference section and glossary. Includes an excellent informational map of coral reefs worldwide. 40 slides covering a wi de range of topics.






Coral Reef Teacher's Kit

by M. King (1988). South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme; Noumea, New Caledonia.






Dangerous Marine Organisms of Hawai'i, 2nd ed.

by A. Clark and J. K. Sims (1987). University of Hawai'i Sea Grant Advisory Report, UNIHI-SEAGRANT-AR-78-01; Honolulu, HI. 28pp. Short pamphlet outlining the major dangerous, coastal marine organisms, sy mptoms and treatments. A new edition is currently in production.






Ecology of Tropical Oceans

by A. R. Longhurst and D. Pauly (1987). Academic Press, Inc.; San Diego, CA. 407pp.






The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life

edited by K. Bannister and A. Campbell (1985). Facts on File; NY, NY. 349pp. Great reference, very comprehensive. Full of interesting information and graphics. Great glossary.






The Erotic Ocean, 2nd ed.

by J. Rudloe (1984). E. P. Dutton, Inc.; NY, NY. 447pp. A naturalist's guide to the ocean.






Field Keys to Common Hawaiian Marine Animals and Plants

Hawaii State Department of Education, Office of Instructional Services (1983). Department of Education, RS 83-4549; Honolulu, HI. 447pp. Includes dichotomous keys and graphics for Hawaiian seaweeds, corals, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, polychaetes and herm it crabs.






Field Work in marine Ecology for Secondary Schools in Tropical Countries

by A. L. Dahl (1990). MARININF/80. U.N.E.S.C.O. Division of Marine Sciences; Paris, France. 90pp. Contains a wide range of field activities, complete with objectives, directions, questions, follow-up activities, and references. Wide range of topics.






Hawai'i Nature Study Project: Reef and Shore, Teacher's Guide

by E. L. Demanche (1976). CRDG, University of Hawai'i College of Education; Honolulu, HI. 240pp. This excellent manual is out of print and hard to find, an updated substitute is CRDG's 'The Living Ocean' (see below). Some of the activities listed in the ' 76 manual are no longer ecologically sound practices in today's Hawai'i.






How They Do It

by R. A. Wallace (1980). William Morrow and Company, Inc.; NY, NY. 172pp. Interesting book on how a wide variety of different animals go about the act of reproduction.






Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life, 5th ed.

by J. L. Sumich (1992). Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers; Dubuque, Iowa. 180pp. Marine biology textbook. Good chapter on coral reefs.






The Living Ocean

by E. B. Klemm et al. (1995). CRDG, University of Hawai'i College of Education; Honolulu, HI. 451pp. Excellent high school level marine biology text. Full of activities and investigations. Good graphics. Accompanying student workbook.






Marine Biology

by P. Castro and M. E. Huber (1992). Mosby-Yearbook Inc.; St. Louis, MO. 266pp. Marine biology textbook. Well written with many examples that directly relate to Hawai'i. Good diagrams; good section on coral reefs.






Marine Biology: An Ecological Approach, 3rd ed.

by J. W. Nybakken (1993). Harper and Row; NY, NY. 446pp. Well written marine biology text, orientated towards West Coast species. Good section on coral reefs and mangroves.






The Marine Biology Coloring Book

by T. M. Neisen (1982). Barnes and Noble Books; NY, NY. 192pp. Informative and well-presented drawings on marine biology. Not orientated to Hawaiian organisms, but the structural drawings are useful.






Marine Biology: Environment, Diversity and Ecology

by M. Lerman (1986). Benjamin Cummings Publ. Co., Inc.; Menlo Park, CA. 266pp. Marine biology textbook, heavy on ecology. Easy reading, applicable for high school use.






Marine Ecology

by J. S. Levinton (1986). Prentice-Hall, Inc.; Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 526pp. College marine ecology text.






Project Reef-Ed

by A. Byrnes et al . (1988). Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; Townsville, Australia. 200pp. Written for teachers in Australia who use the Great Barrier Reef for field trips, this extensive book is full of i deas for interactive displays, activities and teaching tools centered around coral reefs and associated environments.






Project Wild, Aquatic - Hawai'i Edition

by R. Honebrink (1994). Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources; Honolulu, HI.






Seawatch: The Seafarer's Guide to Marine Life

edited by P. V. Horseman (1989). Facts on File; NY, NY. 204pp. Excellent guide to pelagic organisms; some real interesting information. Lots of natural history info with a great set of species distribution maps at the back of the book.






U.N.E.S.C.O. Project: Marine Science Curriculum Materials for South Pacific Schools

James Cook University; Townsville, Australia Excellent set of short booklets packed with information and graphics aimed at middle school grade levels. Activities, projects and review questions. Seperate teacher's guide covers all the booklets in the set. Topics range from coral reefs to mangroves, from island ecology to oceanography and plankton.






1001 Questions Answered About the Seashore

by N. J. Berrill and J. Berrill (1976). Dover Publications; NY, NY. 305pp. A series of questions and answers about the ocean and the seashore. Minimal information about coral reefs.







Dr. Carol Hopper, Waikiki Aquarium

Liz Kumabe, Pacific Island Network .


andcopy; Dave Gulko 1997

This bibliography may be copied for educational purposes only.







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