Invertebrates and Their Roles in Coral Reef Ecosystems

  • Peter W. GlynnEmail author
  • Ian C. Enochs


There are some fundamental generalizations that can be made about the biology and ecology of invertebrates associated with coral reefs. For example, it is widely accepted that coral reefs support the highest biodiversity of all marine ecosystems, and that invertebrates contribute dominantly to this condition. It is also acknowledged that numerous invertebrate taxa are involved in highly complex and coevolved relationships with metazoans, unicellular protists, and multicellular algae. Further, during the past few decades it has been demonstrated that certain invertebrate consumers can have strong and widespread effects on coral abundances, community structure, and the integrity of reef formations.


Coral Reef Great Barrier Reef Scleractinian Coral Coral Community Hermit Crab 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Several persons helped with various aspects of this review for which we are grateful: Literature – Viktor W. Brandtneris, William E. Browne, Anne C. Campbell, Angela C. Clark, Daniel J. Diresta, Elizabeth A. Fish, Lyza Johnston, William A. Newman, and Peter K. Swart; Photographs – Orit Barneah, Charles Birkeland, Lyza Johnston, P. Laboute, Haris A. Lessios, and Michael C. Schmale; Taxonomic advice – Leslie Harris, José H. Leal, Charles Messing, David L. Pawson, Rob W.M. van Soest, Nancy Voss, and Philippe Willenz; Overall review – Richard C. Brusca, Daniel J. Diresta, John S. Pearse, and Bernhard Riegl. Our contributions to this review have been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (Biological Oceanography Program), grant OCE-0526361 and earlier awards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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