The reef-building corals that inhabit the warm, shallow waters of the tropics are perhaps the best-known example of a mutualism involving an animal, and in tropical marine environments, they are certainly one of the most significant. The enduring ability of corals (Scleractinia) and coral reefs to attract public interest and their ecological and economic importance stands in stark contrast to our ignorance of many basic aspects of their biology. In part, the lack of understanding is a consequence of the complexity of the association, but the net result is that we are seriously underequipped to understand why coral reefs everywhere are in serious decline and to implement policies that might at least slow this process.
KeywordsBacterial Community Coral Reef Great Barrier Reef Coral Species Juvenile Coral
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