|Pillar coral, Dendrogyra cylindricus|
|Extant Subclasses and Orders|
Corals are marine invertebrates in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria. They typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.
A coral "head" is a colony of myriad genetically identical polyps. Each polyp is a sac-like animal typically only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in length. A set of tentacles surround a central mouth opening. An exoskeleton is excreted near the base. Over many generations, the colony thus creates a large skeleton that is characteristic of the species. Individual heads grow by asexual reproduction of polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning: polyps of the same species release gametes simultaneously over a period of one to several nights around a full moon.
Although some corals can catch small fish and plankton, using stinging cells on their tentacles, most corals obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium that live within their tissues. These are commonly known as zooxanthellae and the corals that contain them are zooxanthellate corals. Such corals require sunlight and grow in clear, shallow water, typically at depths shallower than 60 metres (200 ft). Corals are major contributors to the physical structure of the coral reefs that develop in tropical and subtropical waters, such as the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
Other corals do not have associated algae and can live in much deeper water, with the cold-water genus Lophelia surviving as deep as 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). Some have been found on the Darwin Mounds, north-west of Cape Wrath, Scotland. Corals have also been found as far north as off the coast of Washington State and the Aleutian Islands.
- 1 Taxonomy
- 2 Hermatypic corals
- 3 Anatomy
- 4 Ecology
- 5 Reproduction
- 6 Reefs
- 7 Evolutionary history
- 8 Status
- 9 Relation to humans
- 10 Gallery
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
There has been considerable discussion over the years on the phylogeny of Anthozoans. The cladogram presented here comes from a 2014 study by Stampar et al. which was based on the divergence of mitochondrial DNA within the group and on nuclear markers.
|Phylogeny of Anthozoa|
Corals are classified in the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They are divided into three subclasses, Hexacorallia, Octocorallia, and Ceriantharia. The Hexacorallia include the stony corals, the sea anemones and zoanthids. These groups have polyps that generally have 6-fold symmetry. The Octocorallia include blue coral, soft corals, sea pens, and gorgonians (sea fans and sea whips). These groups have polyps with 8-fold symmetry, each polyp having eight tentacles and eight mesenteries. Ceriantharia are the tube-dwelling anemones.
Hermatypic corals are stony corals in the order Scleractinia that build reefs. The word "hermatypic" is derived from the Greek herma, a prop or reef, and typtein to strike or coin. Most hermatypic corals obtain at least part of their energy requirements from zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium), symbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellate and for this reason are found in shallow water. Stony corals secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton and it is these skeletons that form the framework of the reef. However, hermatypic does not equate to zooxanthellate. Not all hermatypic corals in shallow water contain zooxanthellae, and some deep water species, living at depths to which light cannot penetrate, form reefs but do not harbour the symbionts. Similarly, some zooxanthellate corals live outside the confines of reefs and others, such as some solitary corals, inhabit reefs but do not build them.
The Muslim polymath Al-Biruni (d. 1048) classified sponges and corals as animals arguing that they respond to touch. Nevertheless, people believed coral to be a plant until the 18th century, when William Herschel used a microscope to establish that coral had the characteristic thin cell membranes of an animal.
The polyps interconnect by a complex and well-developed system of gastrovascular canals, allowing significant sharing of nutrients and symbiotes. In soft corals, these range in size from 50–500 micrometres (0.002–0.020 in) in diameter, and allow transport of both metabolites and cellular components.
While the coral head is the familiar visual form of a single organism, it is actually a group of many individual, yet genetically identical, multicellular organisms known as polyps. Polyps are usually a few millimeters in diameter, and are formed by a layer of outer epithelium and inner jellylike tissue known as the mesoglea. They are radially symmetrical, with tentacles surrounding a central mouth, the only opening to the stomach or coelenteron, through which food is ingested and waste expelled.
The stomach closes at the base of the polyp, where the epithelium produces an exoskeleton called the basal plate or calicle (L. small cup). The calicle is formed by a thickened calcareous ring (annular thickening) with six supporting radial ridges. These structures grow vertically and project into the base of the polyp. When a polyp is physically stressed, its tentacles contract into the calyx so that virtually no part is exposed above the skeletal platform. This protects the organism from predators and the elements.
The polyp grows by extension of vertical calices which occasionally septate to form a new, higher, basal plate. Over many generations, this extension forms the large calcareous structures of corals and ultimately coral reefs.
Formation of the calcareous exoskeleton involves deposition of the mineral aragonite by the polyps from calcium and carbonate ions they acquire from seawater. The rate of deposition, while varying greatly across species and environmental conditions, can reach 10 g/m² per day (0.3 ounce/sq yd/day). This is light dependent, with night-time production 90% lower than that during the middle of the day.
Modified epidermal cells – neurons – contain long, thin strand-like processes, called neurites, synapsing into each other and creating a basic neural network. Corals and other cnidarians have two separate networks: one fast conducting and one slow conducting. It is believed that corals were one of the first animals to evolve such networks – sponges have ion channels and inactive DNA for neuron production, but corals realise them fully.
Polyps feed on a variety of small organisms, from microscopic demersal plankton to small fish. The polyp's tentacles immobilize or kill prey using their nematocysts. These cells carry venom which they rapidly release in response to contact with another organism. A dormant nematocyst discharges in response to nearby prey touching the trigger (cnidocil). A flap (operculum) opens, and its stinging apparatus fires the barb into the prey. The venom is injected through the hollow filament to immobilise the prey; the tentacles then manoeuvre the prey to the mouth.
The tentacles then contract to bring the prey into the stomach. Once the prey is digested, the stomach reopens, allowing the elimination of waste products and the beginning of the next hunting cycle. They can scavenge drifting organic molecules and dissolved organic molecules.:24
Many corals, as well as other cnidarian groups such as Aiptasia (a sea anemone) form a symbiotic relationship with a class of dinoflagellate algae, zooxanthellae of the genus Symbiodinium.:24 Aiptasia, a familiar pest among coral reef aquarium hobbyists, serves as a valuable model organism in the study of cnidarian-algal symbiosis. Typically, each polyp harbors one species of algae. Via photosynthesis, these provide energy for the coral, and aid in calcification. As much as 30% of the tissue of a polyp may be plant material.:23
The algae benefit from a safe place to live and consume the polyp's carbon dioxide and nitrogenous waste. Due to the strain the algae can put on the polyp, stress on the coral often drives them to eject the algae. Mass ejections are known as coral bleaching, because the algae contribute to coral's brown coloration; other colors, however, are due to host coral pigments, such as green fluorescent proteins (GFPs). Ejection increases the polyp's chance of surviving short-term stress—they can regain algae, possibly of a different species at a later time. If the stressful conditions persist, the polyp eventually dies.
About 75% of all hermatypic corals "broadcast spawn" by releasing gametes—eggs and sperm—into the water to spread offspring. The gametes fuse during fertilization to form a microscopic larva called a planula, typically pink and elliptical in shape. A typical coral colony forms several thousand larvae per year to overcome the odds against formation of a new colony.
Synchronous spawning is very typical on the coral reef, and often, even when multiple species are present, all corals spawn on the same night. This synchrony is essential so male and female gametes can meet. Corals rely on environmental cues, varying from species to species, to determine the proper time to release gametes into the water. The cues involve temperature change, lunar cycle, day length, and possibly chemical signalling. Synchronous spawning may form hybrids and is perhaps involved in coral speciation. The immediate cue is most often sunset, which cues the release. The spawning event can be visually dramatic, clouding the usually clear water with gametes.
Brooding species are most often ahermatypic (not reef-building) in areas of high current or wave action. Brooders release only sperm, which is negatively buoyant, sinking on to the waiting egg carriers who harbor unfertilized eggs for weeks. Synchronous spawning events sometimes occurs even with these species. After fertilization, the corals release planula that are ready to settle.
Planulae exhibit positive phototaxis, swimming towards light to reach surface waters, where they drift and grow before descending to seek a hard surface to which they can attach and begin a new colony. They also exhibit positive sonotaxis, moving towards sounds that emanate from the reef and away from open water. High failure rates afflict many stages of this process, and even though millions of gametes are released by each colony, few new colonies form. The time from spawning to settling is usually two to three days, but can be up to two months. The larva grows into a polyp and eventually becomes a coral head by asexual budding and growth.
Budding involves splitting a smaller polyp from an adult. As the new polyp grows, it forms its body parts. The distance between the new and adult polyps grows, and with it, the coenosarc (the common body of the colony; see coral anatomy). Budding can be intratentacular, from its oral discs, producing same-sized polyps within the ring of tentacles, or extratentacular, from its base, producing a smaller polyp.
Division forms two polyps that each become as large as the original. Longitudinal division begins when a polyp broadens and then divides its coelenteron (body), effectively splitting along its length. The mouth divides and new tentacles form. The two polyps thus created then generate their missing body parts and exoskeleton. Transversal division occurs when polyps and the exoskeleton divide transversally into two parts. This means one has the basal disc (bottom) and the other has the oral disc (top), similar to cutting the end off a log. The new polyps must separately generate the missing pieces.
Asexual reproduction offers the benefts of high reproductive rate, delaying senescence, and replacement of dead modules, as well as geographical distribution.
Whole colonies can reproduce asexually, forming two colonies with the same genotype. The possible mechanisms include fission, bailout and fragmentation. Fission occurs in some corals, especially among the family Fungiidae, where the colony splits into two or more colonies during early developmental stages. Bailout occurs when a single polyp abandons the colony and settles on a different substrate to create a new colony. Fragmentation involves individuals broken from the colony during storms or other disruptions. The separated individuals can start new colonies.
The hermatypic, stony corals are often found in coral reefs, large calcium carbonate structures generally found in shallow, tropical water. Reefs are built up from coral skeletons, and are held together by layers of calcium carbonate produced by coralline algae. Reefs are extremely diverse marine ecosystems hosting over 4,000 species of fish, massive numbers of cnidaria, mollusks, crustacea, and many other animals.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
Although corals first appeared in the Cambrian period, some , fossils are extremely rare until the Ordovician period, 100 million years later, when rugose and tabulate corals became widespread. Paleozoic corals often contained numerous endobiotic symbionts.
Tabulate corals occur in limestones and calcareous shales of the Ordovician and Silurian periods, and often form low cushions or branching masses alongside rugose corals. Their numbers began to decline during the middle of the Silurian period, and they became extinct at the end of the Permian period, . The skeletons of tabulate corals are composed of a form of calcium carbonate known as calcite.
Rugose corals became dominant by the middle of the Silurian period, and became extinct early in the Triassic period. The rugose corals existed in solitary and colonial forms, and were also composed of calcite.
The scleractinian corals filled the niche vacated by the extinct rugose and tabulate species. Their fossils may be found in small numbers in rocks from the Triassic period, and became common in the Jurassic and later periods. Scleractinian skeletons are composed of a form of calcium carbonate known as aragonite. Although they are geologically younger than the tabulate and rugose corals, their aragonitic skeleton is less readily preserved, and their fossil record is less complete.
At certain times in the geological past, corals were very abundant. Like modern corals, these ancestors built reefs, some of which ended as great structures in sedimentary rocks. Fossils of fellow reef-dwellers algae, sponges, and the remains of many echinoids, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, and trilobites appear along with coral fossils. This makes some corals useful index fossils. Coral fossils are not restricted to reef remnants, and many solitary fossils may be found elsewhere, such as Cyclocyathus, which occurs in England's Gault clay formation.
Coral reefs are under stress around the world. In particular, coral mining, agricultural and urban runoff, pollution (organic and inorganic), overfishing, blast fishing, disease, and the digging of canals and access into islands and bays are localized threats to coral ecosystems. Broader threats are sea temperature rise, sea level rise and pH changes from ocean acidification, all associated with greenhouse gas emissions. In 1998, 16% of the world's reefs died as a result of increased water temperature.
General estimates show approximately 10% of the world's coral reefs are dead. About 60% of the world's reefs are at risk due to human-related activities. The threat to reef health is particularly strong in Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered. Over 50% of the world's coral reefs may be destroyed by 2030; as a result, most nations protect them through environmental laws.
In the Caribbean and tropical Pacific, direct contact between ~40–70% of common seaweeds and coral causes bleaching and death to the coral via transfer of lipid-soluble metabolites. Seaweed and algae proliferate given adequate nutrients and limited grazing by herbivores such as parrotfish.
Water temperature changes of more than 1–2 °C (1.8–3.6 °F) or salinity changes can kill some species of coral. Under such environmental stresses, corals expel their Symbiodinium; without them coral tissues reveal the white of their skeletons, an event known as coral bleaching.
Submarine springs found along the coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula produce water with a naturally low pH (a measure of acidity) providing conditions similar to those expected to become widespread as the oceans absorb carbon dioxide. Surveys discovered multiple species of live coral that appeared to tolerate the acidity. The colonies were small and patchily distributed, and had not formed structurally complex reefs such as those that compose the nearby Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
Many governments now prohibit removal of coral from reefs, and inform coastal residents about reef protection and ecology. While local action such as habitat restoration and herbivore protection can reduce local damage, the longer-term threats of acidification, temperature change and sea-level rise remain a challenge.
Relation to humans
Local economies near major coral reefs benefit from an abundance of fish and other marine creatures as a food source. Reefs also provide recreational scuba diving and snorkeling tourism. These activities can damage coral but international projects such as Green Fins that encourage dive and snorkel centres to follow a Code of Conduct has been proven to mitigate these risks.
Corals' many colors give it appeal for necklaces and other jewelry. Intensely red coral is prized as a gemstone. Sometimes called fire coral, it is not the same as fire coral. Red coral is very rare because of overharvesting.
In medicine, chemical compounds from corals are used for cancer, AIDS, pain, and other uses. Coral skeletons, e.g. Isididae are also used for bone grafting in humans. Coral Calx, known as Praval Bhasma in Sanskrit, is widely used in traditional system of Indian medicine as a supplement in the treatment of a variety of bone metabolic disorders associated with calcium deficiency.
Coral reefs in places such as the East African coast are used as a source of building material. Ancient (fossil) coral limestone, notably including the Coral Rag Formation of the hills around Oxford (England), was once used as a building stone, and can be seen in some of the oldest buildings in that city including the Saxon tower of St-Michael-at-the-Northgate, St. George's Tower of Oxford Castle, and for the mediaeval walls of the city.
Annual growth bands in some corals, such as the deep sea bamboo corals (Isididae), may be among the first signs of the effects of ocean acidification on marine life. The growth rings allow geologists to construct year-by-year chronologies, a form of incremental dating, which underlie high-resolution records of past climatic and environmental changes using geochemical techniques.
Certain species form communities called microatolls, which are colonies whose top is dead and mostly above the water line, but whose perimeter is mostly submerged and alive. Average tide level limits their height. By analyzing the various growth morphologies, microatolls offer a low resolution record of sea level change. Fossilized microatolls can also be dated using Radiocarbon dating. Such methods can help to reconstruct Holocene sea levels.
Increasing sea temperatures in tropical regions (~1 degree C) the last century have caused major coral bleaching, death, and therefore shrinking coral populations since although they are able to adapt and acclimate, it is uncertain if this evolutionary process will happen quickly enough to prevent major reduction of their numbers.
Though coral have large sexually-reproducing populations, their evolution can be slowed by abundant asexual reproduction. Gene flow is variable among coral species. According to the biogeography of coral species gene flow cannot be counted on as a dependable source of adaptation as they are very stationary organisms. Also, coral longevity might factor into their adaptivity.
However, adaptation to climate changes has been demonstrated in many cases. These are usually due to a shift in coral and zooxanthellae genotypes. These shifts in allelic frequencies have progressed toward more tolerant types of zooxanthellae. Scientists found that a certain scleractinian zooxanthella is becoming more common where sea temperature is high. Symbionts able to tolerate warmer water seem to have slower photosynthesis rates, implying an evolutionary trade-off.
In the Gulf of Mexico, where sea temperatures are rising, cold-sensitive staghorn and elkhorn coral have shifted in location. Not only have the symbionts and specific species been shown to shift, but there seems to be a certain growth rate favorable to selection. Slower-growing but more heat-tolerant corals have become more common. The changes in temperature and acclimation are complex. Some reefs in current shadows represent a refugium location that will help them adjust to the disparity in the environment even if eventually the temperatures may rise more quickly there than in other locations. This vicariance due to climatic barriers causes a realized niche to shrink greatly in comparison to the old fundamental niche.
The saltwater fishkeeping hobby has increasingly expanded, over recent years, to include reef tanks, fish tanks that include large amounts of live rock on which coral is allowed to grow and spread. These tanks are either kept in a natural-like state, with algae (sometimes in the form of an algae scrubber) and a deep sand bed providing filtration, or as "show tanks", with the rock kept largely bare of the algae and microfauna that would normally populate it, in order to appear neat and clean.
The most popular kind of coral kept is soft coral, especially zoanthids and mushroom corals, which are especially easy to grow and propagate in a wide variety of conditions, because they originate in enclosed parts of reefs where water conditions vary and lighting may be less reliable and direct. More serious fishkeepers may keep small polyp stony coral, which is from open, brightly lit reef conditions and therefore much more demanding, while large polyp stony coral is a sort of compromise between the two.
Coral aquaculture, also known as coral farming or coral gardening, is the cultivation of corals for commercial purposes or coral reef restoration. Aquaculture is showing promise as a potentially effective tool for restoring coral reefs, which have been declining around the world. The process bypasses the early growth stages of corals when they are most at risk of dying. Coral seeds are grown in nurseries then replanted on the reef. Coral is farmed by coral farmers who live locally to the reefs and farm for reef conservation or for income. It is also farmed by scientists for research, by businesses for the supply of the live and ornamental coral trade and by private aquarium hobbyists.
Fungia sp. skeleton
Polyps of Eusmilia fastigiata
Staghorn coral, Acropora
Orange cup coral, Balanophyllia elegans
- Hoeksema, Bert (2015). "Octocorallia". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- Hoeksema, Bert (2015). "Hexacorallia". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- Squires, D.F. (1959). "Deep sea corals collected by the Lamont Geological Observatory. 1. Atlantic corals". American Museum Novitates 1965: 1–42.
- Stampar, S.N.; Maronna, M.M.; Kitahara, M.V.; Reimer, J.D.; Morandini, A.C. (2014). "Fast-Evolving Mitochondrial DNA in Ceriantharia: A Reflection of Hexacorallia Paraphyly?". PLoS ONE 9 (1): e86612. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086612. PMC 3903554. PMID 24475157.
- Hoeksema, Bert (2015). "Anthozoa". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- Chen, C. A.; Odorico, D. M.; ten Lohuis, M.; Veron, J. E. N.; Miller, D. J. (1995). "Systematic relationships within the Anthozoa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) using the 5'-end of the 28S rDNA" (PDF). Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution 4 (2): 175–183. doi:10.1006/mpev.1995.1017. PMID 7663762.
- Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, 7th edition. Cengage Learning. pp. 132–148. ISBN 978-81-315-0104-7.
- Schuchert, Peter (2015). "Milleporidae Fleming, 1828". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
- Schuhmacher, Helmut; Zibrowius, Helmut (1985). "What is hermatypic?". Coral Reefs 4 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1007/BF00302198.
- Egerton, Frank N. (2012). Roots of Ecology: Antiquity to Haeckel. University of California Press. p. 24. ISBN 0520953630.
- The Light of Reason 8 August 2006 02:00 BBC Four
- D. Gateno, A. Israel, Y. Barki and B. Rinkevich (1998). "Gastrovascular Circulation in an Octocoral: Evidence of Significant Transport of Coral and Symbiont Cells". The Biological Bulletin (Marine Biological Laboratory) 194 (2): 178–186. doi:10.2307/1543048. JSTOR 1543048.
- Barnes, R.D.K (1987). Invertebrate Zoology (5th ed.). Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 149–163.
- Sumich, J. L. (1996). An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life (6th ed.). Dubuque, Indiana: Brown. pp. 255–269.
- "Anatomy of Coral". Marine Reef.
- Murphy, Richard C. (2002). Coral Reefs: Cities Under The Seas. The Darwin Press. ISBN 0-87850-138-X.
- Madl, P. and Yip, M. (2000). "Field Excursion to Milne Bay Province – Papua New Guinea". Retrieved 2006-03-31.
- W. W. Toller, R. Rowan and N. Knowlton (2001). "Repopulation of Zooxanthellae in the Caribbean Corals Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata following Experimental and Disease-Associated Bleaching". The Biological Bulletin (Marine Biological Laboratory) 201 (3): 360–373. doi:10.2307/1543614. JSTOR 1543614. PMID 11751248.
- Veron, J.E.N. (2000). Corals of the World. Vol 3 (3rd ed.). Australia: Australian Institute of Marine Sciences and CRR Qld Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-642-32236-8.
- Barnes, R. and; Hughes, R. (1999). An Introduction to Marine Ecology (3rd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 117–141. ISBN 0-86542-834-4.
- Hatta, M., Fukami, H., Wang, W., Omori, M., Shimoike, K., Hayashibara, T., Ina, Y., Sugiyama, T. (1999). "Reproductive and genetic evidence for a reticulate evolutionary theory of mass spawning corals" (PDF). Molecular Biology and Evolution 16 (11): 1607–1613. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026073. PMID 10555292.
- Vermeij, Mark J. A.; Marhaver, Kristen L.; Huijbers, Chantal M.; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Simpson, Stephen D. (2010). "Coral Larvae Move toward Reef Sounds". PLoS ONE 5 (5): e10660. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010660. PMID 20498831. Lay summary – ScienceDaily (May 16, 2010).
- Jones, O.A. and R. Endean. (1973). Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs. New York, USA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 205–245. ISBN 0-12-389602-9.
- Gulko, David (1998). Hawaiian Coral Reef Ecology. Honolulu, Hawaii: Mutual Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 1-56647-221-0.
- Spalding, Mark, Corinna Ravilious, and Edmund Green (2001). World Atlas of Coral Reefs. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press and UNEP/WCMC. pp. 205–245. ISBN 0-520-23255-0.
- Pratt, B.R.; Spincer, B.R., R.A. Wood and A.Yu. Zhuravlev (2001). "12: Ecology and Evolution of Cambrian Reefs". Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation (PDF). Columbia University Press. p. 259. ISBN 0-231-10613-0. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
- Vinn, O.; Mõtus, M.-A. (2008). "The earliest endosymbiotic mineralized tubeworms from the Silurian of Podolia, Ukraine". Journal of Paleontology 82: 409–414. doi:10.1666/07-056.1. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
- Vinn, O.; Mõtus, M.-A. (2012). "Diverse early endobiotic coral symbiont assemblage from the Katian (Late Ordovician) of Baltica". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 321–322: 137–141. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
- Ries, J.B., Stanley, S.M., Hardie, L.A.; Stanley; Hardie (July 2006). "Scleractinian corals produce calcite, and grow more slowly, in artificial Cretaceous seawater". Geology 34 (7): 525–528. doi:10.1130/G22600.1.
- Ben M. Waggoner (2000). David Smith and Allen Collins, ed. "Anthozoa: Fossil Record". Anthozoa. UCMP. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- William A. Oliver, Jr. (2003). "Corals: Table 1". Fossil Groups. USGS. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- "Coral reefs around the world". Guardian.co.uk. 2 September 2009.
- "Threats to Coral Reefs". Coral Reef Alliance. 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- Losing Our Coral Reefs – Eco Matters – State of the Planet. Blogs.ei.columbia.edu. Retrieved on 2011-11-01.
- Kleypas, J.A.; Feely, R.A.; Fabry, V.J.; Langdon, C.; Sabine, C.L.; Robbins (2006). "Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers: A guide for Future Research" (PDF). National Science Foundation, NOAA, & United States Geological Survey. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
|last6=in Authors list (help)
- Save Our Seas, 1997 Summer Newsletter, Dr. Cindy Hunter and Dr. Alan Friedlander
- Tun, K.; Chou, L.M.; Cabanban, A.; Tuan, V.S.; Philreefs; Yeemin, T.; Suharsono; Sour, K.; Lane, D. (2004). "Status of Coral Reefs, Coral Reef Monitoring and Management in Southeast Asia, 2004". In Wilkinson, C. Status of Coral Reefs of the world: 2004. Townsville, Queensland, Australia: Australian Institute of Marine Science. pp. 235–276.
- Burke, Lauretta; Reytar, K.; Spalding, M.; Perry, A. (2011). Reefs at risk revisited. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-56973-762-0.
- Norlander (8 December 2003). "Coral crisis! Humans are killing off these bustling underwater cities. Can coral reefs be saved? (Life science: corals)". Science World.
- Rasher DB, Hay ME; Hay (May 2010). "Chemically rich seaweeds poison corals when not controlled by herbivores". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (21): 9683–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.0912095107. PMC 2906836. PMID 20457927.
- Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (1999). "Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs" (PDF). Marine and Freshwater Research 50 (8): 839–866. doi:10.1071/MF99078.
- "Submarine Springs Offer Preview of Ocean Acidification Effects On Coral Reefs". ScienceDaily. Nov 28, 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "Phoenix Rising". National Geographic Magazine. January 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- EcoDeco EcologicalTechnology. Ecodeco.nl. Retrieved on 2011-11-29.
- KoralenKAS project. Koraalwetenschap.nl. Retrieved on 2011-11-29.
- Hunt, Chloe V.; Harvey, James J.; Miller, Anne; Johnson, Vivienne; Phongsuwan, Niphon (2013). "The Green Fins approach for monitoring and promoting environmentally sustainable scuba diving operations in South East Asia". Ocean & Coastal Management 78: 35–44. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.03.004.
- "Eight great soft corals for new reefkeepers". AquaDaily. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- Magsaysay, Melissa (June 21, 2009). "Coral makes a splash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- H. Ehrlich, P. Etnoyer, S. D. Litvinov; Etnoyer, P.; Litvinov, S. D.; Olennikova, M.M.; Domaschke, H.; Hanke, T.; Born, R.; Meissner, H.; Worch, H. et al. (2006). "Biomaterial structure in deep-sea bamboo coral (Anthozoa: Gorgonacea: Isididae)". Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik (www3.interscience.wiley.com) 37 (6): 552. doi:10.1002/mawe.200600036. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- Reddy PN, Lakshmana M, Udupa UV; Lakshmana; Udupa (December 2003). "Effect of Praval bhasma (Coral calx), a natural source of rich calcium on bone mineralization in rats". Pharmacological Research 48 (6): 593–9. doi:10.1016/S1043-6618(03)00224-X. PMID 14527824.
- Pouwels, Randall L. (6 June 2002). Horn and Crescent: Cultural Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800-1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-521-52309-7.
- "Strategic Stone Study: A Building Stone Atlas of Oxfordshire". English Heritage. March 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – New Deep-Sea Coral Discovered on NOAA-Supported Mission". www.noaanews.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- Schrag, D.P. and Linsley, B.K. (2002). "Corals, Chemistry, and Climate". Science 296 (8): 277–278. doi:10.1126/science.1071561. PMID 11951026.
- Smithers, Scott G.; Woodroffe, Colin D. (2000). "Microatolls as sea-level indicators on a mid-ocean atoll". Marine Geology 168 (1–4): 61–78. doi:10.1016/S0025-3227(00)00043-8.
- Hoegh-Guldberg O. (1999). "Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs". Marine and Freshwater Research 50: 839–99. doi:10.1071/mf99078.
- Hughes, T., Baird, A., Bellwood, D., Card, M., Connolly, S., Folke, C., Grosberg, R., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Jackson, J., Klepas, J., Lough, J., Marshall, P., Nystrom, M., Palumbi, S., Pandolfi, J., Rosen, B., and Roughgarden, J. (2003). "Climate change, Human Impacts, and the Reslience of Coral Reefs". Science 301: 929–33. doi:10.1126/science.1085046.
- Parmesan, C. (2006). "Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change". Annu Rev Ecol Evol and Syst 37: 637–69. doi:10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110100.
- Baker, A. (2004). "Corals’ adaptive response to climate change". Nature 430: 741. doi:10.1038/430741a.
- Donner, S., Skirving, W., Little, C., Oppenheimer, M., and Hoegh-Guldenberg (2005). "Global assessment of coral bleaching and required rates of adaptation under climate change". Glob Chang Biol 11: 2251–65. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.01073.x.
- Baskett, M., Gaines, S., and Nisbet, R. (2009). "Symbiont diversity may help coral reefs survive moderate climate change.". Ecol Appl 19: 3–17. doi:10.1890/08-0139.1.
- McClanahan, T., Ateweberhan, M., Muhando, C., Maina, J., and Mohammed, M. (2007). "Effects of Climate and Seawater Temperature Variation on Coral Bleaching and Morality". Ecol Monogr 77: 503–25. doi:10.1890/06-1182.1.
- Aquarium Corals: Collection and Aquarium Husbandry of Northeast Pacific Non-Photosynthetic Cnidaria
- Reefkeeping 101 - Various Nutrient Control Methods
- Aquarium Substrate & Live Rock Clean Up Tips
- Excellent Beginner Corals for a Reef Aquarium
- Coral Reefs
- Horoszowski-Fridman YB, Izhaki I, Rinkevich B; Izhaki; Rinkevich (2011). "Engineering of coral reef larval supply through transplantation of nursery-farmed gravid colonies". Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 399 (2): 162–166. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2011.01.005.
- Pomeroy, Robert S.; Parks, John E.; Balboa, Cristina M. (2006). "Farming the reef: Is aquaculture a solution for reducing fishing pressure on coral reefs?". Marine Policy 30 (2): 111–30. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2004.09.001.
- Rinkevich B (2008). "Management of coral reefs: We have gone wrong when neglecting active reef restoration" (PDF). Marine pollution bulletin 56 (11): 1821–1824. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.08.014. PMID 18829052.
- Ferse, Sebastian C.A. (2010). "Poor Performance of Corals Transplanted onto Substrates of Short Durability". Restoration Ecology 18 (4): 399–407. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00682.x.
- Coral Reefs The Ocean Portal by Smithsonian Institution.
- Coral, The Reef & Marine Aquarium Magazine. ISSN 1556-5769 Coral Magazine
- Book of Coral Propagation by Anthony Calfo. ISBN 0-9802365-0-9
- Coral Reefs of the World by Susan Wells
- Corals of the World: Biology and Field Guide by Surrey Redhill
- Marine Biology, An Ecological Approach, 6th edition, Nybakken, J.W. 2004. ISBN 0-8053-4582-5
- Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide by Allen, G.R & R. Steene. 1994. ISBN 981-00-5687-7
- Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific, Animals Life from Africa to Hawai‘i (invertebrates) by Gosliner, T., D. Behrens & G. Williams. 1996. ISBN 0-930118-21-9
- Tropical Pacific Invertebrates by Colin, P.L. & C. Arneson. 1995. ISBN 0-9645625-0-2
- Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific by Veron, J.E.N. 1993. ISBN 0-8248-1504-1
- The Evolution of Reef Communities by Fagerstrom, J.A. 1987. ISBN 0-471-81528-4
- A Reef Comes to Life. Creating an Undersea Exhibit by Segaloff, Nat, and Paul Erickson. 1991. ISBN 0-531-10994-1
- SeaWorld – Coral reef bibliography
|Wikispecies has information related to: Coral|
- What is a coral?
- NOAA CoRIS – Coral Reef Biology
- NOAA Ocean Service Education – Corals
- coral reef identification guide for the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific