Coral reefs around the world are sustaining massive damage at an alarming rate. Geological Approaches to Coral Reef Ecology provides a uniquely historical perspective on the destruction--through both natural and human processes--of coral reef ecosystems. Chapters applying the principles of geophysics, paleontology, geochemistry, and physical and chemical oceanography supply novel insights into the workings of coral reefs, complementing real-time ecological studies and providing critical information for crafting realistic environmental policy.
By reconstructing the ecological history of coral reefs, the authors are able to evaluate whether or not recent, dramatic changes to reef ecosystems are novel events or part of a long-term trend or cycle. The contributions examine the interacting causes of change, which include hurricane damage, regional outbreaks of coral-consuming predators, disease epidemics, sea-level rise, nutrient loading, global warming and acidification of the oceans. Crucial predictions about the future of coral reefs lead to practical strategies for the successful restoration and management of reef ecosystems. Geological Approaches to Coral Reef Ecology will be of particular interest to students and professionals in ecology and marine biology, including environmental managers. (2006, Springer-Verlag, New York. 439 pages.)