Since the beginning of coral reef studies algal formations of various sizes and shapes, made of coralline algae and other organisms and generally associated with coral reefs, have been described under various names (algal ridges, crests, mounds, reefs, etc.). They were described as being developed upon the windward edge of reefs, but mention of algal mounds, crusts or rims developed on rock also exist in the early literature. A detailed description of algal rim structure was given by Tracey et al. (1948) on Bikini atoll.
Locations were mainly Pacific, but analogous formations were also described in the Atlantic, such as the “boilers” of Bermuda (Agassiz 1895). Later papers (Kempf and Laborel 1968; Gessner 1970; Glynn 1973; Adey and Burke 1976; Focke 1978; Jindrich 1983; Bosence 1984) dealt with algal and animal populations associated with Atlantic rims, and demonstrated their identity with Indo-Pacific rims, and their independance from coral reefs proper, since algal rims can...
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