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Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

Structure, Form and Process

  • Reference work
  • © 2011


  • No equivalent publication available
  • Presented from a geological rather than ecological angle
  • Will be used by wide range of disciplines as well as earth scientists
  • Coral reefs highly topical because of worldwide decline and impact of climate change (sometimes referred to as the "canaries" for climate change)
  • Multi-national interest because of geographical extent of coral reefs and nationalities of researchers
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series (EESS)

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About this book

Coral reefs are the largest landforms built by plants and animals. Their study therefore incorporates a wide range of disciplines. This encyclopedia approaches coral reefs from an earth science perspective, concentrating especially on modern reefs. Currently coral reefs are under high stress, most prominently from climate change with changes to water temperature, sea level and ocean acidification particularly damaging. Modern reefs have evolved through the massive environmental changes of the Quaternary with long periods of exposure during glacially lowered sea level periods and short periods of interglacial growth. The entries in this encyclopedia condense the large amount of work carried out since Charles Darwin first attempted to understand reef evolution. Leading authorities from many countries have contributed to the entries covering areas of geology, geography and ecology, providing comprehensive access to the most up-to-date research on the structure, form and processes operating on Quaternary coral reefs.

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Table of contents (260 entries)

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From the reviews:

“Another addition to Springer’s range of mammoth tomes addressing important fields across the sciences, this covers the geology, biotic composition and physical geography of coral reefs around the world though 260 fully referenced entries. … Presented largely from the perspective of earth sciences, this will … prove to be a valuable reference for biogeographers working in these systems.” (Frontiers of Biogeography, Vol. 5 (3), 2013)

“The Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs is one of those exceptional scholarly works that is bound to make a lasting impression on the existing literature. … researchers from other relevant disciplines would undoubtedly find it of use. … This is a remarkable addition to the literature on coral reefs … . a sound investment for libraries which cater for students and researchers of marine science and other related disciplines.” (Anna Franca, Reference Reviews, Vol. 25 (8), 2011)


My feeling is that thissingle book is the best compilation on coral reefs ever written, and it will be many years, if ever, before another book like this is published. I for one appreciate having my best references both in book and electronic form, and I appreciate the efforts of Springer to continue to produce important publications in book format. Jim Maragos

The book is truly outstanding! What a magnificent and well-assembled compilation of what clearly represent the best up-to-date summaries of significant, decades-scale bodies of work on global coral reefs, on old and new technologies employed, and on the early grandfathers of reef research. I fully expect that the volume will quickly fit well into the realm of classic literature on reefs, past and present. Barbara Lidz

Editors and Affiliations

  • James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

    David Hopley

About the editor

David Hopley is Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Environmental Science at James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, where he has worked since 1965. He has an M.A. from the University of Manchester and PhD. from James Cook University. His initial research into Holocene sea levels and tropical landforms quickly focused on the evolution of coral reefs, reflecting the importance of the Great Barrier Reef to his home institution. Experience with coral reefs extends to many parts of the world including Australia, Barbados, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Rodrigues and Thailand. He has authored and edited almost 200 scientific publications. Amongst numerous awards have been the J.P. Thomson silver medal from the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (1984) and Life Membership of PACON International (1992), and the J.P. Thomson Silver Medal by the Duke of Kent on 15 April 2014 for his 50 years of science research to Higher Education.

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