Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 168-172

Brazil, Coral Reefs

  • Zelinda M. A. N. LeãoAffiliated withGeophysics and Geology Research Center, Geosciences Institute Federal University of Bahia
  • , Ruy K. P. KikuchiAffiliated withGeophysics and Geology Research Center, Geosciences Institute Federal University of Bahia

Synonyms

Coral Reefs of the Southwestern Atlantic

Definition

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.

Introduction

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 hav ...

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