© 2015

Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene

  • Charles Birkeland

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Charles Birkeland
    Pages 1-15
  3. Peter W. Glynn, Derek P. Manzello
    Pages 67-97
  4. Gisèle Muller-Parker, Christopher F. D’Elia, Clayton B. Cook
    Pages 99-116
  5. Nancy Knowlton, Matthieu Leray
    Pages 117-132
  6. Esther C. Peters
    Pages 147-178
  7. Mark A. Hixon
    Pages 195-215
  8. Margaret W. Miller
    Pages 217-230
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 265-271

About this book


This volume investigates the effects of human activities on coral reefs, which provide important life-supporting systems to surrounding natural and human communities. It examines the self-reinforcing ecological, economic, and technological mechanisms that degrade coral reef ecosystems around the world.

Topics include reefs and limestones in Earth history; the interactions between corals and their symbiotic algae; diseases of coral reef organisms; the complex triangle between reef fishes, seaweeds, and corals; coral disturbance and recovery in a changing world.

In addition, the authors take key recent advances in DNA studies into account which provides new insights into the population biology, patterns of species distributions, recent evolution, and vulnerabilities to environmental stresses. These DNA analyses also provide new understandings of the limitations of coral responses and scales of management necessary to sustain coral reefs in their present states.

Coral reefs have been essential sources of food, income, and resources to humans for millennia. This book details the delicate balance that exists within these ecosystems at all scales, from geologic time to cellular interactions, and explores how recent global and local changes influence this relationship. It will serve as an indispensable resource for all those interested in learning how human activities have affected this vital ecosystem around the world.


Anthropocene Balanced processes Bioerosion Biology trump management Climate Change Coral Reefs DNA Limestones Molecular genetics Reef biology

Editors and affiliations

  • Charles Birkeland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

About the editors

Charles Birkeland received his PhD from the University of Washington with Robert T. Paine as his advisor. He was a post-doc for 5 years at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and then a Professor at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory for 25 years. He was the 3rd President of the International Society for Reef Studies. From 2000 – 2010 he was a professor with the Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii.

Bibliographic information