Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

2011 Edition
| Editors: David Hopley

Brazil, Coral Reefs

  • Zelinda M. A. N. Leão
  • Ruy K. P. Kikuchi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_50


Coral Reefs of the Southwestern Atlantic


Brazil: The largest country in the South American continent, with an area of 8,512,000 km2 and a coastal zone that extends for approximately 9,200 km.

Brazilian coral reefs: The southernmost reefs of the Western Atlantic Ocean.


French biologist Jacques Laborel (1969, 1970) published the first comprehensive description of the Brazilian reefs. Earlier nineteenth century reports by visiting scientists such as Darwin (1851), Hartt (1868a, b, 1870), and Rathbun (1876, 1878) described the unusual characteristics of the Brazilian reefs: their almost unique mushroom-like growth forms (chapeirão) and the strong endemism and low diversity of the coral fauna. Interest in the studies of Brazilian reefs has increased over the last two decades for several reasons: an increasing number of Brazilian researchers have been studying reefs; reef areas have become increasingly degraded; and Brazilian reefs have been recognized as an...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zelinda M. A. N. Leão
    • 1
  • Ruy K. P. Kikuchi
    • 2
  1. 1.Geophysics and Geology Research CenterGeosciences Institute Federal University of BahiaBahiaBrazil
  2. 2.Geophysics and Geology Research CenterGeosciences Institute Federal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil