Talk:Coral reef

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Miscellaneous comments[edit]

I don't feel that this article accurately represents the coral reef aspect of the enhanced greenhouse effect controversy - which has been going on perhaps since global warming was first advanced as a theory. Perhaps a new subheading named Threats to Coral Reefs is in order? - (Malkin, Creatures Wiki contributor)

This article overlooks the reef-forming cold water corals (Lophelia and Madrepora) which occur worldwide at depths of up to 700m. Should be updated!! - (MudPuddles, Wikipedia contributor)

I placed a paragraph, briefly describing sea fans, hard & soft corals and deep water corals at the start of the article because it otherwise implies that tropical coral reefs are the only type of coral. In fact, although shallow water tropical corals are the most visible and most economically important type of coral, coral animals and reefs are very diverse. Deep water corals are worth mentioning, because, just as they are being discovered in the North Atlantic, they are being destroyed by deep sea dredging. an site on deep water corals is A biologist might go on the describe solitary corals bily bob was the first to walk on the sun. Peakscan.

Peakscan, I would argue that deep sea or cold water corals do not form reefs. Maybe you should add some info to the coral page. (Esoxid) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Esoxid (talkcontribs) 02:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Finally, found some info on this: states that the deep-sea coral Lophelia does indeed produce calcium carbonate secretions - that is, a reef. Mad2Physicist (talk) 18:04, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
It is, I believe, unknown at this time whether or not cold water corals form reefs, as they have not been adequately studied to conclude one way or the other. In any case the comment 'it is generally accepted that no corals exist in waters below 18 °C,' while sourced, is certainly inaccurate. Deep water corals have been found down to 1500 m, where the temperature is much lower than that (I believe around 4 C). Even if they are not reef-forming, it is still wrong to say they are not corals. Mad2Physicist (talk) 17:17, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
In fact says that deep water corals do form reefs. However, it appears the reef-forming mechanism may be somewhat different than in tropical corals. I am modifying the statement about the existence of corals, however, to reflect this ambiguity. Mad2Physicist (talk) 17:23, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I added some references to artificial coral growing, with "mineral accretion", which seems to be successful, and links to where I found it - I think that President Bush or any of the world leaders do something to save the reefs from destruction —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iamheretolearn1 (talkcontribs) 14:31, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Dear Iamheretolearn,

This Low voltage electrical current technology does seem increase the growth rate of corals that are linked up to it. This method only helps very small areas of reef though say 10-100 square meters at a time. There are thousands of square km that need help. The cost of restoring this type of area would be ridiculous. The only way to help such large areas is to reduce or remove the human induced pressures on the reef. Reef Restoration methods such as this do not work unless human pressure such as destructive fishing practices, overfishing, mining corals, etc. are removed. Otherwise the small restored patches will just be ruined like the rest of the reef. Also Having read several reports by NOAA on their restoration attempts, there seems to be very little difference between natural recovery and restored area. Though this "biorock" technique does seem to make an initial difference to coral growth. The problem is that the corals are often transplanted from other areas and attached to the Metal structure of the biorock system. This seems a little like robbing peter to pay paul ie you are destroying one area to fix another. This leaves you with 2 semi degraded areas rather than a degraded area and a relatively alright area. These are just some ideas and I hope they help in determining what goes into the article. Cheers Lewis

This might come off as random and inappropriate, but to whomever wrote about the relationship with upwelling; thank you. Really, thank you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Work in Progress[edit]

I'll work on this article over the next few days - it's got a lot of good stuff in it, but I have a feeling most of the last two thirds are a cut-and-paste from an academic article on the subject, it certainly reads like one. If you have any suggestions, please lend a hand! – QuantumEleven | (talk) 22:01, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

References & agreement[edit]

I agree that a lot of this sounds like it was cut & pasted from an article... I will spend some time searching to see if I can find the source. The references on this article also need to be cleaned up and standardized with footnotes. The whole article also needs to be broken up and wikified. If I wasn't so tired I'd find the to-do list widget and apply it. Brassratgirl 08:28, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I am finally getting around to working on this now – should have a version uploaded in a few days, pls check before making any major changes. Brassratgirl 06:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

There is some good information at My son came across it whilst doing a project.

I did some major additions and worked on the reference list as you suggested - Marshman 00:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

The distribution part is obivously wrong according to the great barrier reef article, the great barrier reef consists of 344 000 square kilometers of coral but according to this article the world distribution of coral is only 284 000 square kilometers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

comment from article[edit]

From article text: "(unsure of the author's original intent but Dynamite is made of nitroglycerin and sawdust whereas potassium nitrate is used in gunpowder)" Should be incorporated? Brassratgirl 21:19, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

You are correct to remove the comment from the article, although the comment is correct. Most dynamite fishing I'm "experienced" with hearing about typically involves a stick of dynamite set off with a fuse, not a "bottle" of something explosive. That would seem be a good way to loose body parts; but I suppose anyone foolish enough to use any kind of explosive for fishing may not be playing with a full deck - Marshman 02:33, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

moved to southeast asia coral reefs[edit]

Rewriting threats/protection section - any removed term-paper style text about southeast asian coral reefs is copied to talk page of Southeast Asia coral reefs. Still much to be done. Unfortunatly this means that the references will have to be gone through and checked again as most of them are for the SE Asian text. Brassratgirl 08:18, 19 March 2006 (UTC)


I doubt "85% of the world’s aquarium fish are caught in this region and almost all of them are caught using cyanide." That seems very high as most fish wholesalers and retailers refuse to buy or sell fish that aren't net caught. Not to mention that nearly, if not every, indo-pacific country has outlawed the practice. Even if I am incorrect (I have been wrong before), I would like some sort of citation. Dark jedi requiem 02:00, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

90% mortality rate[edit]

Adding to the part about 85% of aquarium fish are caught using cyanide technique: What does the author mean by fish caught using the cyanide method have a 90% mortality rate? Everything dies eventually..... Do they mean that 90% of the time when cyanide is used to stun the fish, it kills it instead of stunning it?

I believe that 90% of the fish caught using Cyanide die either immediately or within a two weeks from the effects of Cyanide. Usually I think there liver is destroyed. I don't have references for this at the moment though. Lewis —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Threats to Reefs[edit]

Certainly a separate heading of "Threats to Reefs" is in order, and should be kept separate from a discussion of coral reef ecosystems generally. The basic concepts, which are complex enough, should be presented in one swallow, so-to-speak, before delving into the threats. Threats include: eutrophication/nutrification, ocean acidification, bleaching, disease, invasive species, overfishing, excessive marine aquarium organism harvesting, enforcement issues, etc.

Maximum depth[edit]

Is it 30m or 50m? References? – Beland 02:54, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

the information is all good, but there's nothin about what type of ecosystem it is, or any info that goes about the ecosystem subject, and thats what i need.

The information you are referring to is explaining two different things. The first one, 30m, refers to how deep most reef-building corals exist, and the second one, 50m, refers to the depth of the photic zone, which can also vary in depth. It does need a reference. As for the ecosystem type, I'm fairly certain it's marine reef ecosystem, but I can't cite any sources for that. Esoxid (talk) 16:34, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


The types of reef part of the article is not very accurate as i look on other sites with more desriptive definitions of the same types of reefs.

It is still very informative. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC).

Yes, I agree, and in fact i would go further by saying that they are totally inaccurate and based on an off-topic reference. Blanchon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Try Blanchon, P. (2011) Geomorphic Zonation. In: Hopley, D. (Ed), Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs: Structure, form and process. Springer-Verlag Earth Science Series, p. 469-486. DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2 Here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Editing on Wikipedia is open to all. Anyone can edit this article, why not add the information yourself? Better yet, sign up for an account and your IP address will be kept private, plus you'll have editing tools that IP-editors do not have. Shearonink (talk) 20:32, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
PS - were responding to a post from 2007.
The initial comment above in this section applied to the article as it was over four years ago. The current section on reef types merely lists some common, and not so common, reef types. What do you mean when you say the reef types are "totally inaccurate"? That is a very heavy statement. Please explain. All the terms mentioned are used in the scholarly literature, as checks on Google Scholar will show. The section does not attempt a systematic summary analysis of coral reef geomorphology, though it might be a good idea if it did.
The reference you give is to an "about to be published work" by Paul Blanchon, who is on the faculty at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. You seem to be suggesting that Paul Blanchon is currently a leading authority in this field, and that Wikipedia should be following his lead. Google Scholar lists 5,590 article which mention "coral reef" and "geomorphology", but only 4 of those articles have "P Blanchon" or "Paul Blanchon" as an author. The most cited of those four papers had 56 citations. This does not, on the face of it, suggest Paul Blanchon is a leading authority in the field. On the other hand, the new book you mention, Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs, seems like a useful book, and perhaps supports Paul Blanchon as a leading authority. But the book is still in the press.
Finally, your IP is located at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, where Paul Blanchon works. This suggests that you might have a conflict of interest when it comes to promoting publications by Paul Blanchon. However, your continuing input is welcome, and could result in a better article. Why not create an account, as was suggested above. If you have a conflict of interest, and particularly if you are Paul Blanchon, it would be good to declare that, either here or on your account user page. But we can still work with that. --Epipelagic (talk) 23:18, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Information added[edit]

This sections has been added:

Organisations as Coral Cay, Counterpart and the Foundation of the peoples of the South Pacific are currently undertaking coral reef/atol restoration projects. They are doing so using simple methods of plant propogation. Other organisations as Practical Action have released informational documents on how to set-up coral reef restauration to the main public.[1]

Hope it qualifies, if not improve and re-add to article. Thanks.

KVDP (talk) 12:32, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Reef Restoration[edit]

To user, I feel like the section is valid since to my knowledge not just a single company is responsible for this technology. The patent for the process was filed in 1981[1], and is expired since 20 years have passed. If you are talking about a specific process, then that may be newer, I'm not sure. You said there are problems with the technology, so please add those to the article instead of deleting the entire section. From my own reading of an article by Sabater and Yap (2004)[1], significant advantages are associated with mineral accretion when using transplanted corals. It also inhibits the growth of filamentous and fleshy algae that would compete with coral for space. Corals do return to a normal growth rate after the flow of electricity stops. I'll add a little more to that section, but I disagree with you that it sounds like an advertisement. It's a technology that exists, and that to my knowledge is not proprietary. I am aware that the founding technology was called Electrolytic Mineral Accretion Technology, or by the company name Biorock. Feel free to add problems about the technology, I would if I could find any articles about it. Esoxidt 14:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Just found this newer patent from 1996[2] that applies to the process, so it looks like that specific process is proprietary. I honestly don't like that since conservation isn't about making money, but it doesn't invalidate that the technology exists. So feel free to clean it up to make it more neutral. Esoxidt 14:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey Esoxid

Sorry I was a little brief in my description. I feel that the Reef restoration section only mentions one type of restoration technique. I should include all of the various types of reef restoration that are out there. This section should also mention that there is little evidence that they restore ecological function to the reef. This Low voltage electrical current technology does seem increase the growth rate of corals that are linked up to it. This method only helps very small areas of reef though say 10-100 square meters at a time. There are thousands of square km that need help. The cost of restoring this type of area would be ridiculous. The only way to help such large areas is to reduce or remove the human induced pressures on the reef.

This low voltage technology is championed by Thomas J Goreau as the president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance and the head of Biorock Inc. This from the global coral reef alliance website "The Biorock Process is owned by Biorock, Inc.". If the claims of the website are correct the this is a propriety process and this section amounts to an advertisement for the biorock process owned by the biorock company.

I agree that rather than deleting it should be made more neutral. Include other restoration ideas and include problems with each idea . This is my opinion though and rather than go with it as I have previously I thought I'd put it up here first.

Cheers Lewis —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

The current section for reef restoration doesn't make a lot of sense. I don't know if someone deleted something but it could definitely be edited for clarity. Thanks =) JimmyOrangeSeed (talk) 00:53, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Sabater, Marlowe G.; Yap, Helen T. 2004. "Long-term effects of induced mineral accretion on growth, survival, and corallite properties of Porites cylindrica Dana." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Vol. 311:355-374.

Barrier reef[edit]

Should "Barrier reef" automatically redirect here, or should it be a disambiguation which includes the possibility of the Great Barrier Reef? PatGallacher (talk) 00:22, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

coral reef fish[edit]

coral reef fish are close to exstingsion —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Can I touch coral?[edit]

This may sound like a very stupid question, but: Can I touch coral reefs? Are they harmful to humans? -- (talk) 03:28, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Some corals are harmful to humans. Most, if not all, have structures called nematocysts similar to what jellyfish have to capture prey and deter predators. Some have more of an adverse affect than others. The main reason that I would suggest that you don't touch corals is that it's more harmful to them. It will most often die afterwards. So please look but don't touch when you are diving around coral, and be mindful of your flippers. Esoxidt 02:40, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

coral reefs are an indangerd species —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

By Brianna Deavers[edit]

coral reefs

Coral reefs are indangenrd species they even have threats these threats can be divers or maybe even boats with anchors

Divers can go under the surface and grab the beautiful coral from the water. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Movable moon pool[edit]

Can movable moon pools be added as equipment helpful with coral reef restoration? This image could be added too: (talk) 11:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Baseline coral reefs[edit]

in the article it should be mentioned that almost all coral reefs have already been degraded so much that it is hard to understand how a original baseline coral reef looks like. Mention that the Kingmanreef and some 49 other location are still in their original state. [1]

  1. ^ National Geographic Magazine July 2008

Crazy glue[edit]

Crazy glue was mentioned as a glue used in coral propogation. Not sure what its made of, supposedly nontoxic. See —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:35, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


Coral gene banks can play an important role in coral reef restauration, especially as many corals are declining so quickly they may soon become extinct. Make an article about it and mention at restauration section of this article —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


Coral reefs are rare along the American west coast, as well as along the African west coast. This is due primarily to upwelling and strong cold coastal currents that reduce water temperatures in these areas.[3] Corals are seldom found along the coastline of South Asia from Pakistan to Bangladesh.[2] They are also rare along the coast around north-eastern South America and Bangladesh due to the freshwater release from the Amazon and Ganges Rivers respectively.[citation needed]

--> remark 1: Corals are seldom found along the coastline of South Asia from Pakistan to Bangladesh. This line doesn't stroke with the drawing at all; isn't this from the eastern tip of India (Madras) to the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar ?

--> remark 2: Coral reefs are rare along the American west coast, as well as along the African west coast. This is due primarily to upwelling and strong cold coastal currents that reduce water temperatures in these areas. This doesn't quite explain why so little coral reefs exist between Senegal and Gabon (no cold currents here, see ocean currents map) Also, it doesn't explain why so little coral reefs exist between the western coast of columbia and the western coast of Peru.

I'll already change the article info with remark 1 and add remark 2



I was notified that I had vandalized this page. This IP address belongs to an entire school, so I cannot claim who exactly vandalized the page. I do, however, know that I (and probably most of the other children in the school) apologize for an inconvenience of any type. If possible, could you give me a summary of the damage caused? Thank you very much, Furiku Waarurusu —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:36, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


I have rv'd the image changed (back to the left). I think it needs discussion because it is out of sync with the "accepted"/expected style of WP pages. My main issue is that it break formatting on numerous devices:

  • On my netbook it crushes the lead to a few words per line
  • On my phone(s) it reduces it to one word per line
  • It makes the TOC sit out from the left on my computer

I think we need specific rationale for it's inclusion on the left rather than the right; it is not what the reader expects and may disrupte the page. I think we may have to discuss it at WT:MOS to ensure it meets policy/accepted practice --Errant Tmorton166(Talk) 09:18, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Okay. I guess the increasing restriction small displays like phones impose really is a problem here. One solution would be a software solution to slide images down the page when the display has limited size. I'm surprised phone technology is not a bit more helpful here, by grouping the text above or below when the width available drops too low. But approaches like that are maybe outside Wikipedia's scope. I have been resisting the issue because this is not the only article the issue applies to. If you navigate to the other articles on the template (and other templates!), you will find the same problem applies to most of them. This means there are only two alternatives, I think. Either the image can be right justified and the template slid down the page. This means that the articles look good in the accepted way, but the templates lose immediate effectiveness, since they are no longer immediately visible. It also means that the template will often disrupt an image in a very untidy way if it used in the first section after the lead. Alternatively, the image can be slid down the page, leaving the template at the top. In this case, the templates are effective, but the initial view of the articles is rather stark. Neither alternative is very satisfactory. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:41, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, thinking about it, there may be a better solution (I see what you are saying). We could modify the infobox to accept an image + caption at the top (as part of the template). Thoughts on that? --Errant Tmorton166(Talk) 09:55, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Something along these lines User:Tmorton166/coral --Errant Tmorton166(Talk) 09:59, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, maybe. It would have to be a wide template to provide a good image size. Then would it not look like an info box, and further confuse viewers? Maybe if it said they were related links. Really this a modified version of the second alternative above, where the image is right justified and the template slid down. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:08, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes I think that works. Well done! --Epipelagic (talk) 11:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)


The area covered by coral reefs quoted here is 284,000 km2, "just under one tenth of one percent of the surface area occupied by the world oceans". No direct citation is given for this figure, and an IP editor disputes it. Ocean gives a figure for the surface area of the world's oceans of 3.61 × 1014 m2, which is 361,000,000 km2, which would make 284,000 km2 about 0.08%, which is fair enough. The problem comes with Great Barrier Reef, which claims an area of 344,400 km2 on its own. Presumably, this disparity is down to different measures of the extent of a coral reef, but I think a citation is probably necessary, ideally with an explanation of the different measurements. --Stemonitis (talk) 10:32, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Well I think the best source is the UNEP-WCMC World Atlas of Coral Reefs, which confirms the figure of 284,000 km2, and gives an area of 48,960 km2, for Australian reefs, or about 17% of the total. Clearly there is an issue concerning how other people arrive at area estimates, but for comparative purposes, I would think the World Atlas would be the most reliable and consistent source. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:38, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


What isn't described is how the coral is propogated: this is usually done asexually (by taking cuttings). However, in some projects, sexual propogation is also used: this is done by catching the coral larvae at night and then securing them on a rock (mushroom shaped with a pin to secure on a platform). Appearantly, a project like this is undertaken at Koh Tao, eco-advisor for the project is Frans van Klaveren [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

It would be good if you could add that information yourself, particularly if you can provide reliable sources to go with it. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:42, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Epipelagic's objections[edit]

I've responded to some of the objections with further edits, but those I found less obvious I treat here:

  • to tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection vs "tourism, fisheries and shorelines". I chose the latter wording for reasons of parallelism. (The other choice would have been to change to something like "expanding tourism, fishery sustainability and shoreline protection." I like the shorter version...
  • "wikipedia is not a reliable source". I couldn't find this in the cited link. Please help me find it. Contrarily, I think I understand the logic, but it seems impractical to recite every ref in every article that makes use of a point. If the ref'ed wp article is itself properly sourced, what is the problem? In any event, given that the ref is available at the linked article, why not copy it, rather than removing content that is clearly valid?

Lfstevens (talk) 02:24, 14 December 2010 (UTC) ... No need for a new section for an old struggle. Today I made some edits, and added some inline questions. Epipelagic removed the questions without answering them, and filled his comments with attacks, also reverting other changes without explanation. I'll put my questions here, in hopes of working something out. I checked some of the references for the section, in hopes of finding answers, but was unsuccessful.

  • Corals in tropical waters live in "low nutrient" water, but require nutrients to survive, as do the phytoplankton at the base of their foodchain. My question is where do the nutrients for the phytoplankton come from, and how are they replenished as they are consumed?
  • I replaced the term "boundary layer" with "envelope", which E reverted, commenting that I was dumbing down the article.
  • I replaced the phrase "water is agitated" with "water passes over them" and was again reverted.

Assuming my edits were incorrect, I think the article should clarify the importance/meaning of the specific wording for our non-technical audience. E threatened to "give up", but unless that happens, I will allow others to try to get past the guardian on these points.

Lfstevens (talk) 01:21, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
If you look again, you will notice that I fully commented each edit I made in the edit summaries. You say I "removed the questions without answering them", though in fact I gave detailed answers to each of your (hidden) questions that I removed. That is why I removed only one question per edit, so I could answer them as I went. Likewise, I explained that the key point was that the water is "agitated" in the edit notes. You would have been aware of that anyway, if you had carefully read the rest of the article or looked at the relevant sources. There is not much point writing edit summaries if you don't bother to read them. You did not ask "where do the nutrients for the phytoplankton come from" in your hidden questions. You are further widening your scope by asking that, and I'm not sure why it is my job here to answer all these questions. Why not get some good books on coral reefs and study them for a bit?
There are no personal attacks, just the occasional objective, and at times highly frustrated, comment on your specific behaviors. I would prefer to get on with writing new material, rather than this unproductive business of trying to guard ones that are basically written. It is costly in time and seems like an endless sink of energy dealing with all these supposed copyedits you make in fishery areas. Particularly when you add your own unsourced original research, which is usually outright incorrect. You seem to work only on the key fisheries articles, and always seem to want to rewrite the lead in your own way, particularly the lead sentence. It's fine when you genuinely copyedit, adding endashes, removing an unnecessary redundancy, and so on. But you also want to continually change the meaning and remove essential and carefully thought out nuances. If you want to change the meaning, and you have no source, why not propose your change on the talk page instead of just making it without comment in the article (leaving me tearing my hair out)? If you like tinkering, why not write articles yourself that you can endlessly tinker with, or find articles to tinker with that are on topics you have some in depth knowledge? I apologise if I get a bit abrupt sometimes, but it can be very frustrating. --Epipelagic (talk) 06:44, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Since I mentioned your edit summaries, I think you know I read them. Since I was unsatisfied with those summaries, I recapitulated my concerns above. I didn't say your attacks were personal, and won't further characterize them, as readers can make up their own minds. I didn't/don't find "agitated" or "boundary layer" very revealing. If the article said that turbulent rather than laminar flow was required and explained what a boundary layer was, with links and refs, that might help. I did check several of the refs, even commenting that one of them appeared to violate WP:RS. Are you reading my edit summaries? Readers aren't supposed to have to check the refs to understand the articles. I don't intentionally remove nuances. When that happens, it is because I don't see your intended meaning. Either I'm a dope, or the nuance is not obvious, meaning more work is in order, i.e., an amplification in the article, not a revert, is in order. I can't find your response to my deleted question about nutrient replenishment in the text or summaries. Please point me in the right direction. I have edited many obscure fisheries articles as well, and note that you are pretty much the only one to object to my changes. In the end what I don't get is that instead of working with me, or even following the basic notion of working things out on the talk pages, you revert, venting. This is a critical article, and should be a GA/FA, but I wouldn't rate it that way at the moment. I think we're both trying to change that.
Lfstevens (talk) 08:15, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
You say, "I can't find your response to my deleted question about nutrient replenishment in the text or summaries. Please point me in the right direction."
You had three hidden questions about nutrients. I removed two of them with summaries. The first question had the following source text:
Plants form the base of the food chain<!-- don't nutrients provide that base? -->
I removed this question with the summary: at the base of a food chain are the primary producers. See trophic level.
The second question had the following source text:
Phytoplankton rapidly use nutrients in the surface waters, and in the tropics these nutrients are not usually replaced because of the [[thermocline]].<!--why do the phytoplankton not die out after they consume the (unreplenished) nutrients?-->
Again, I removed this question with the summary: the phytoplankton do die, and in the tropic sink to the bottom of the ocean where they are not recycled.
Your remaining question I didn't remove and is still in the article:
<!-- why is this warm sunny water low in nutrients? are reef waters less nourishing than deep ocean waters? -->
Yes, something could be added to the article clarifying that. I would be good if you would like a more collegial environment. Please assist by making fewer unsourced changes in content and calling them copyedits. Instead, you could discuss proposed changes on the talk page. If I am the person who responds to your edits on the fishery articles it is maybe because I write most of them. You can quickly check contributors to articles by clicking "Contributions" on the article History page. I don't think we should endlessly "amplify" these articles to meet every possible question that could be raised, though clarity is always good. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:46, 6 April 2011 (UTC)


  • Thanks for the clarifications and the calm tone.
  • You say that the nutrients are not replenished and sink. My confusion is that once the nutrients are gone, why don't the phytoplankton die, with the predictable cascade?
  • When I think I'm making a controversial change, I do go to the talk page. Your reactions leave me feeling blindsided.
  • I do hope you'll clarify the article re my concerns above. I'm not starting an edit war, so it's up to you. I continue to find the language unedifying.

the Red Sea[edit]

I doubt that the Red Sea extends along the coasts of Djibouti, Somalia or Israel as said in the article. the real extent of the red sea ends at Bab al-Mandab strait according to The Britannica encyclopedia, which means that Djibouti and Somalia are out of its extent, and i do not think that Israel could have a coast, or at least a significant one, on the red sea. the Britannica encyclopedia also says that just Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have a coasts along of the sea --aad_Dira (talk) 13:27, 5 February 2011 (UTC).

We would need a more primary reference, such as a book regarding the Red Sea, to make the alterations you suggest. Encyclopedias are not considered primary references. Thegreatdr (talk) 13:30, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
WP attempts to avoid primary sources in favor of secondary and tertiary material. See WP:PRIMARY.
Lfstevens (talk) 01:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Merging The African Coral Reef[edit]

A recent article has been created on The African Coral Reef; however, I've been unable to verify that this system of reefs is considered an entity in its own right (as, for example, the Great Barrier Reef is). There's little information in the article, so I propose mereging what there is to Coral reef#Locations or similar. Yunshui (talk) 07:32, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, there are of course African coral reefs, but there is no such entity as "The African Coral Reef" --Epipelagic (talk) 08:24, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Since you expanded the article instead of merging it, I have removed the merge tag and renamed the article African coral reefs. There is no "African Coral Reef System". --Epipelagic (talk) 08:53, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Growth rates[edit]

Great article, but growth rate is overly simplified in saying "Healthy tropical coral reefs grow horizontally from 1 to 3 cm (0.39 to 1.2 in) per year, and grow vertically anywhere from 1 to 25 cm (0.39 to 9.8 in) per year". As a reef grows through time it compacts under its own mass and the surface growth rate is much greater than the overall growth rate for the overall deposit. The process is similar to how snow compacts into a glacier. For this reason (and others) it would be inacurate to calculate reef growth rates over long time scales using the numbers provided in this article, or to calculate growth duration from thickness of an existing reef deposit. Science 26 November 1976: Vol. 194 no. 4268 pp. 937-939 DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4268.937 Calcium Carbonate Production, Coral Reef Growth, and Sea Level Change S. V. SMITH and D. W. KINSEY These authors suggest the maximum growth rate of a reef deposit is 3 to 5 mm per year. aaronshunkAaronshunk (talk) 22:19, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for these useful comments. I repositioned them, since new comments are usually added to the bottom of talk pages. I won't act on your suggestion for a while, because as a new editor, you might like to jump into the water and make the changes you think should be made to the article yourself. Don't worry at this stage about things like getting the format right — that's easy to fix! --Epipelagic (talk) 00:15, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

read the first couple of sentences[edit]

trying to do a report and someone vandalized the page — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us know. Our friendly neighborhood robot caught it. In the future, know that you can remove vandalism yourself if you see it; Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Good luck with your report! Danger High voltage! 16:53, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

File:Coral reef locations.jpg[edit]

It seems that this map is a bit off. Looking at the NGC map of Martin Gamache in NGC magazine, march 2012, it seems that there are far less coral reefs in the Persian Gulf than indicated at File:Coral reef locations.jpg; the NGC map btw also sgows seagrass locations, shark and doejong locations. Perhaps someone at the Graphic Lab can take it over (talk) 15:08, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


I propose renaming that section "Ecology". It's already about more than biodiversity. Changing the name provides room for further expansion. Lfstevens (talk) 19:55, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

I concur. Danger! High voltage! 20:30, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
A key point about coral reefs is that they support a large biodiversity of other species, and there should be a section reflecting that. There could be a section, or containing section called Ecology, where the ecology could be discussed, that is the specific interactions between coral reefs and the other species that are part of their biodiversity. An obvious case in point is the relationship between coral and zooxanthellae, but that has been covered elsewhere in the article. --Epipelagic (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Protection: refugia[edit]

There will still be some coral species left in 50 years time in some places. Such places, called refugia can be found in the Red Sea and the Southern Great Barrier Reef. By prioritizing these places, it may be possible so save some coral species[2]

mention in article KVDP (talk) 17:17, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Besides natural refugia, it's also possible to make artificial refugia. For example, some atols like Rangiroa in Polynesia have one inlet and one outlet. Coral can be placed within the atol, and the water can be changed artificially to contain less co² and less heat, that can be done:

  • by placing a gabion filled with olivine at the inlet
  • and by possibly adding pipes with propellers conducting seawater from greater depths to where the coral grows (seawater at greater depth is colder)

Also note btw that it's also possible to simply disperse crushed olivine at natural reefs; the effect of this would be far lower than the artificial refugia proposal above, but it has the advantage that some reefs can be protected in situ, at the cost of needing to use a lot more olivine KVDP (talk) 15:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Ref section[edit]

This article seems to be using two different ref templates, and one of these is duplicated in the other ref section. The others are not cited or belong in external links. I'll leave them below just in case. I'll be removing them or finding a suitable place for them. Esoxidtalkcontribs 22:01, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

To User:Epipelagic, I have moved the paper from Science Daily here, since it isn't cited anywhere, until I can find a place for it. The other link I removed citing an article on land use impacts, is dead. If you follow the link, it results in "The page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help." Another page has the article hosted, so I updated the link. Esoxidtalkcontribs 16:35, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

It seems the ScienceDaily article is already cited, but was listed under a different title in the external links section. Not sure why there was a duplicate, but that's taken care of. Esoxidtalkcontribs 17:55, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Discussion for How Stuff Works link[edit]

Since there seems to be some disagreement, can we hold the discussion here on this source? I have copied a section from the other user's talk page and pasted it below. Esoxidtalkcontribs 00:54, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Since when is "reasonably reliable" considered an authoritative source? The "How Stuff Works" article on coral reefs contains serious factual errors. For example, it repeatedly mis-identifies xoozanthellae as "plants" or algae (which they are decidedly NOT - they are now considered dinoflagellates).
This kind of error is why many academics do not allow students to use Wikipedia as a reliable source. User:
I read through all the pages, and I don't see any serious errors. It gives a good lay-person overview. The "half-plant" comment seems oversimplifying it, but autotrophic dinoflagellates are considered algae. I agree that it is a reasonably reliable external page. It doesn't really cover anything that isn't covered in the wiki page though. Wikipedia shouldn't be considered a primary source. It provides information on topics, and provides primary or secondary sources.
See WP:MOS and External links for more information. Personally I don't see the need to keep the link per WP:LINKSTOAVOID (Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article.) since it provides no new information, and the sources it contains could be incorporated. I do not find it factually inaccurate though. Esoxidtalkcontribs 00:54, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with what you say Esoxid. Contrary to what the IP claims, the link does not say xoozanthellae are plants. What it in fact says is that, "Coral almost could be considered half-plant because of the zooxanthellae (pronounced zoo-zan-thelly) algae that live just inside each polyp's cell walls. The zooxanthellae supplies the polyp with the byproducts of photosynthesis, which the polyp turns into proteins, fats and carbohydrates." And contrary to what the IP implies, the link was not used as "an authoritative source"; it was not used as a source for anything in the article at all. It was merely added as an external link because it provides a readable and reasonably reliable overview that a layman might find useful. It is the IP who seems to be manufacturing "serious factual errors". --Epipelagic (talk) 01:40, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Comment from student project[edit]

In paragraph one where it states that the coral's hard exoskeleton supports and protects their body, it would be helpful to elaborate on which organisms body it is, whether it is the coral or the algae that grows within the organism.

In paragraph three when the damaging factors to the coral reefs were mentioned, it should state how coral bleaching is becoming a major issue that must be dealt with.

For the section "Reefs in the Past", it would be good to have references to people in history who have explored the reefs underwater from diving, or swimming. Plus, having a section about research occurring in the different reefs.Harpster.33 (talk) 03:02, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, and welcome to Wikipedia! Based upon your first comment, I made an edit to the lead, to indicate that it is the corals themselves, and not the zooxanthellae. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:00, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Coral reefs coverage[edit]

In the second paragraph, the percentage of coral reefs coverage should be equal to 0.2% and not less than 0.1%. Also, coral reefs provide habitats for approximately one-quarter to one-third of all marine species and not just to 25% of all marine species. These data are found in this scientific article: Fujise, L., Yamashita, H., Suzuki, G., Sasaki, K., Liao, L.M., Koike, K. (2014) Moderate thermal stress causes active and immediate expulsion of photosynthetically damaged zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium) from corals “PLoS ONE,” ‘’’9’’’ (12): 1-18. I recommend making these changes and I will make the changes unless someone objects. MauriGirl14 (talk) 23:08, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for that. However, accepting what a new paper says can be a bit hasty. That paper is not a review and so far there has been no rush to cite it. It is contradicted by other recent sources that normally have high credibility. For example, according to NOAA the area of the ocean is 362 million sq km [3] and the area of shallow water coral reefs is 284 thousand sq km [4] From those figures, basic arithmetic tells you the coral occupies 0.084% of the area occupied by the ocean. That rounds to the 0.1% used in the Wikipedia article. (Mind you, this is complicated in the second NOAA source where someone who did the arithmetic there came up with "less than 0.015 percent"!) However, about 0.1 % seems to be generally accepted, and that figure will be steadily diminishing as coral reefs die. I don't know where the 0.2% mentioned in your source comes from, but it may be based on a guesstimate of the (unknown) area occupied by deep water corals. Anyway, I have qualified the Wikipedia article so it refers to shallow coral reefs. On the question of biodiversity, it may well be the percentage increases as more research results come in. I have also modified the article so it refers to at least 25%, in alignment with the NOAA source. --Epipelagic (talk) 04:48, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I'll keep on looking for sources and if I ever come across a review article that provides information on this, I'll make sure to mention it here. MauriGirl14 (talk) 19:53, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Tsushima Reef[edit]

Does anyone know the coords for Tsushima Reef? It is somewhere between these two land masses. Many thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:14, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Misspellings and grammar problems[edit]

Misspellings and grammar problems are present in this article. Just getting the word out.

El Nino should be replaced with El Niño Tdynes (talk) 02:12, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Then be bold and make the correction yourself. --Epipelagic (talk) 08:22, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 June 2016[edit]

Please add "Coral Bleaching is a huge threat to coral ecosystems. Coral Bleaching happens when corals are struggling to survive due to changes in their ecosystems such as "temperature, light, and/or nutrients"(NOAA). These sudden changes cause the coral to expel algae (zooxanthellae) which leads to white coral reefs, called coral bleaching. According to the NOAA, "corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality" ([1] in the beginning of this paragraph "In El Niño-year 2010, preliminary reports show global coral bleaching reached its worst level since another El Niño year, 1998, when 16% of the world's reefs died as a result of increased water temperature. In Indonesia's Aceh province, surveys showed some 80% of bleached corals died. Scientists do not yet understand the long-term impacts of coral bleaching, but they do know that bleaching leaves corals vulnerable to disease, stunts their growth, and affects their reproduction, while severe bleaching kills them.[115] In July, Malaysia closed several dive sites where virtually all the corals were damaged by bleaching.[116][117]" I want someone to add what coral bleaching is because no one really talks about what it is even though it is under the main topic "threats". The two examples of bleaching from El Nino and Malaysia are great examples, but there needs to be a paragraph before talking about what the threat is before you can start talking about where the threat happened and what it did.

Daysithemarinebiologist (talk) 23:26, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

There is a whole article dedicated to Coral bleaching. I've added a prominent link to the article. --Epipelagic (talk) 23:37, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Biodiversity - Algae[edit]

I ask for correction of the following sentence: "The algal population consists of turf algae, coralline algae, and macro algae."

Since coralline algae are a particular kind of macroalgae, and since the term population should be referred to a single species, and thus is not correct here, I suggest to modify the sentence as follows: "The algal association consists of turf algae, calcareous green algae and red coralline algae, and other soft-bodied macroalgae". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Administration, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric. "What is coral bleaching?". Retrieved 13 June 2016.