coral reefs


Summary: Marine ridges composed of living CORALS, coral skeletons, calcareous algae, and other organisms, mixed with minerals and organic matter. They are found most commonly in tropical waters and support other animal and plant life.

Top Publications

  1. Dumas P, Ham J, Kaku R, William A, Kaltavara J, Gereva S, et al. Tectus (Trochus) niloticus search for suitable habitats can cause equivocal benefits of protection in village-based marine reserves. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0176922 pubmed publisher
    ..This has strong implications in the Pacific where the location and size of reserves primarily depends upon marine tenure, and communities have little flexibility in setting reserve boundaries. ..
  2. Carreón Palau L, Parrish C, Pérez España H. Urban sewage lipids in the suspended particulate matter of a coral reef under river influence in the South West Gulf of Mexico. Water Res. 2017;123:192-205 pubmed publisher
    ..near the coral reef system, and it was contrasted with one river station and nine marine stations including six coral reefs. The concentration of coprostanol in the SPM was 3621 ± 98 ng L-1 comprising 26% of ..
  3. Goatley C, Brandl S. Cryptobenthic reef fishes. Curr Biol. 2017;27:R452-R454 pubmed publisher
    Christopher Goatley and Simon Bran introduce the 'hidden' small fishes found on coral reefs.
  4. Arias González J, Fung T, Seymour R, Garza Pérez J, Acosta González G, Bozec Y, et al. A coral-algal phase shift in Mesoamerica not driven by changes in herbivorous fish abundance. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0174855 pubmed publisher
    ..phase shifts in which coral cover declines to low levels and is replaced by algae have often been documented on coral reefs worldwide...
  5. Becken S, Stantic B, Chen J, Alaei A, Connolly R. Monitoring the environment and human sentiment on the Great Barrier Reef: Assessing the potential of collective sensing. J Environ Manage. 2017;203:87-97 pubmed publisher
    ..Suggestions for further steps towards the development of an integrative data platform that incorporates social media are provided. ..
  6. Mayfield A, Chen C, Dempsey A. Identifying corals displaying aberrant behavior in Fiji's Lau Archipelago. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177267 pubmed publisher
    Given the numerous threats against Earth's coral reefs, there is an urgent need to develop means of assessing reef coral health on a proactive timescale...
  7. Coker D, Nowicki J, Graham N. Influence of coral cover and structural complexity on the accuracy of visual surveys of coral-reef fish communities. J Fish Biol. 2017;90:2425-2433 pubmed publisher
  8. Fraser G, Rohde K, Silburn M. Fertiliser management effects on dissolved inorganic nitrogen in runoff from Australian sugarcane farms. Environ Monit Assess. 2017;189:409 pubmed publisher
    ..Earlier fertiliser application or reducing fertiliser application rates in seasons with a wet climate forecast may markedly reduce runoff DIN loads; however, it is recommended that these findings be tested at a broader scale. ..
  9. Barley S, Meekan M, Meeuwig J. Diet and condition of mesopredators on coral reefs in relation to shark abundance. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0165113 pubmed publisher
    Reef sharks may influence the foraging behaviour of mesopredatory teleosts on coral reefs via both risk effects and competitive exclusion...

More Information


  1. Edmunds P. Unusually high coral recruitment during the 2016 El Niño in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0185167 pubmed publisher declines in coral cover, and therefore the El Niño of 2016 raised concerns over the implications for coral reefs; on the Great Barrier Reef these concerns have been realized...
  2. Welle P, Small M, Doney S, Azevedo I. Estimating the effect of multiple environmental stressors on coral bleaching and mortality. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0175018 pubmed publisher
  3. Ransome E, Geller J, Timmers M, Leray M, Mahardini A, Sembiring A, et al. The importance of standardization for biodiversity comparisons: A case study using autonomous reef monitoring structures (ARMS) and metabarcoding to measure cryptic diversity on Mo'orea coral reefs, French Polynesia. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0175066 pubmed publisher
    ..607 m2 area) collected on coral reefs in Mo'orea, French Polynesia...
  4. Besson M, Gache C, Brooker R, Moussa R, Waqalevu V, LeRohellec M, et al. Consistency in the supply of larval fishes among coral reefs in French Polynesia. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0178795 pubmed publisher
    ..This study provides further insights into the mechanisms driving patterns of dispersal and settlement of larval fishes over large spatial scales. ..
  5. Herbert R, Collins K, Mallinson J, Hall A, Pegg J, Ross K, et al. Epibenthic and mobile species colonisation of a geotextile artificial surf reef on the south coast of England. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0184100 pubmed publisher
    ..Provided no negative invasive impacts are detected on nearby protected reefs the creation of novel yet diverse habitats may be considered a beneficial outcome. ..
  6. Hughes T, Kerry J, Álvarez Noriega M, Álvarez Romero J, Anderson K, Baird A, et al. Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature. 2017;543:373-377 pubmed publisher
    ..Similarly, past exposure to bleaching in 1998 and 2002 did not lessen the severity of bleaching in 2016. Consequently, immediate global action to curb future warming is essential to secure a future for coral reefs.
  7. Ainsworth T, Gates R. OCEAN BIOLOGY. Corals' microbial sentinels. Science. 2016;352:1518-9 pubmed publisher
  8. Sinkus W, Shervette V, Ballenger J, Reed L, Plante C, White B. Mercury bioaccumulation in offshore reef fishes from waters of the Southeastern USA. Environ Pollut. 2017;228:222-233 pubmed publisher
  9. Natt M, Lonnstedt O, McCormick M. Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0179300 pubmed publisher
    b>Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stressors...
  10. Alonso Aller E, Jiddawi N, Eklöf J. Marine protected areas increase temporal stability of community structure, but not density or diversity, of tropical seagrass fish communities. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0183999 pubmed publisher
    ..Consequently, our results question whether MPAs play a general role in the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning under changing environmental conditions in tropical seagrass fish communities. ..
  11. Couch C, Burns J, Liu G, Steward K, Gutlay T, Kenyon J, et al. Mass coral bleaching due to unprecedented marine heatwave in Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands). PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0185121 pubmed publisher
  12. Tornabene L, Baldwin C. A new mesophotic goby, Palatogobius incendius (Teleostei: Gobiidae), and the first record of invasive lionfish preying on undescribed biodiversity. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177179 pubmed publisher
    ..Lastly, we discuss ecological and behavioral aspects of some deep-reef fishes in light of potential threats from invasive lionfish. ..
  13. Edgar G, Stuart Smith R, Thomson R, Freeman D. Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177216 pubmed publisher
    ..2%) encompassed a disproportionately large representation of the full range of fish and benthic invertebrate biodiversity within this region. ..
  14. Pavlowich T, Kapuscinski A. Understanding spearfishing in a coral reef fishery: Fishers' opportunities, constraints, and decision-making. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0181617 pubmed publisher
    ..Parrotfish are ecologically indispensable for healthy coral reefs, and they were encountered and captured more frequently than any other taxon...
  15. Grafeld S, Oleson K, Teneva L, Kittinger J. Follow that fish: Uncovering the hidden blue economy in coral reef fisheries. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0182104 pubmed publisher
  16. Osborne K, Thompson A, Cheal A, Emslie M, Johns K, Jonker M, et al. Delayed coral recovery in a warming ocean. Glob Chang Biol. 2017;23:3869-3881 pubmed publisher
    Climate change threatens coral reefs across the world...
  17. Roncalli V, Christie A, Sommer S, Cieslak M, Hartline D, Lenz P. A deep transcriptomic resource for the copepod crustacean Labidocera madurae: A potential indicator species for assessing near shore ecosystem health. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0186794 pubmed publisher
    ..strategies that mitigate stressors and promote a healthy ecosystem has focused on the ecology and physiology of coral reefs and associated organisms...
  18. Binning S, Roche D. Water flow and fin shape polymorphism in coral reef fishes. Ecology. 2015;96:828-39 pubmed
    ..The close links between fin shape polymorphism and local water flow conditions appear to be important for understanding species' distributions as well as patterns of diversification across environmental gradients. ..
  19. Logan C, Dunne J, Eakin C, Donner S. Incorporating adaptive responses into future projections of coral bleaching. Glob Chang Biol. 2014;20:125-39 pubmed publisher
    ..threatens to increase mass coral bleaching events, and several studies have projected the demise of tropical coral reefs this century...
  20. Tickler D, Letessier T, Koldewey H, Meeuwig J. Drivers of abundance and spatial distribution of reef-associated sharks in an isolated atoll reef system. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177374 pubmed publisher
    ..The observed spatial partitioning amongst sites for species and life-stages also implies the need to include a diversity of habitats and reef types within a protected area for adequate protection of reef-associated shark assemblages...
  21. Paxton A, Pickering E, Adler A, Taylor J, Peterson C. Flat and complex temperate reefs provide similar support for fish: Evidence for a unimodal species-habitat relationship. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0183906 pubmed publisher
  22. Smith E, Hume B, Delaney P, Wiedenmann J, Burt J. Genetic structure of coral-Symbiodinium symbioses on the world's warmest reefs. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0180169 pubmed publisher
    ..While limited gene flow has likely played a role in local adaptation within the PAG, it also indicates limited potential for natural export of thermal tolerance traits to reefs elsewhere in the Indian Ocean threatened by climate change. ..
  23. Jimenez C, Andreou V, Evriviadou M, Munkes B, Hadjioannou L, Petrou A, et al. Epibenthic communities associated with unintentional artificial reefs (modern shipwrecks) under contrasting regimes of nutrients in the Levantine Sea (Cyprus and Lebanon). PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0182486 pubmed publisher
  24. Pogoreutz C, Rädecker N, Cárdenas A, Gärdes A, Voolstra C, Wild C. Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching. Glob Chang Biol. 2017;23:3838-3848 pubmed publisher
    ..symbiosis (coral bleaching) due to rising sea surface temperatures has become an unprecedented global threat to coral reefs. Despite decades of research, our ability to manage mass bleaching events remains hampered by an incomplete ..
  25. Crane N, Nelson P, Abelson A, Precoda K, Rulmal J, Bernardi G, et al. Atoll-scale patterns in coral reef community structure: Human signatures on Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177083 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities. ..
  26. Lewis B, Lough J, Nash M, Diaz Pulido G. Presence of skeletal banding in a reef-building tropical crustose coralline alga. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0185124 pubmed publisher
  27. Marty M, Vicente J, Oyler B, PLACE A, Hill R. Sponge symbioses between Xestospongia deweerdtae and Plakortis spp. are not motivated by shared chemical defense against predators. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0174816 pubmed publisher
    ..Given the diversity of other potential food resources available to predators on coral reefs, it is improbable that the evolution of these specialized sponge-sponge symbioses has been driven by predation ..
  28. Manikandan B, Ravindran J, Vidya P, Shrinivasu S, Manimurali R, Paramasivam K. Resilience potential of an Indian Ocean reef: an assessment through coral recruitment pattern and survivability of juvenile corals to recurrent stress events. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017;24:13614-13625 pubmed publisher
    b>Coral reefs are degraded by the synergistic action of climate and anthropogenic stressors...
  29. Staley C, Kaiser T, Gidley M, Enochs I, Jones P, Goodwin K, et al. Differential Impacts of Land-Based Sources of Pollution on the Microbiota of Southeast Florida Coral Reefs. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017;83: pubmed publisher
    b>Coral reefs are dynamic ecosystems known for decades to be endangered due, in large part, to anthropogenic impacts from land-based sources of pollution (LBSP)...
  30. Weiss A, Martindale R. Crustose coralline algae increased framework and diversity on ancient coral reefs. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0181637 pubmed publisher
    ..This study includes data from 128 Cenozoic coral reefs collected from the Paleobiology Database, the Paleoreefs Database, as well as the original literature and ..
  31. Arai T, Amalina R, Bachok Z. Fatty acid composition indicating diverse habitat use in coral reef fishes in the Malaysian South China Sea. Biol Res. 2015;48:13 pubmed publisher
    ..Differences in fatty acid profiles might not just be considered with respect to the diets, but might be based on the habitat and migration. ..
  32. Teh L, Teh L, Sumaila U. A Global Estimate of the Number of Coral Reef Fishers. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e65397 pubmed publisher
    Overfishing threatens coral reefs worldwide, yet there is no reliable estimate on the number of reef fishers globally...
  33. Smith T, Glynn P, Maté J, Toth L, Gyory J. A depth refugium from catastrophic coral bleaching prevents regional extinction. Ecology. 2014;95:1663-73 pubmed
    ..Our data confirm the deep refuge hypothesis for corals under thermal stress. ..
  34. Ranjbar Jafarabadi A, Riyahi Bakhtiyari A, Shadmehri Toosi A, Jadot C. Spatial distribution, ecological and health risk assessment of heavy metals in marine surface sediments and coastal seawaters of fringing coral reefs of the Persian Gulf, Iran. Chemosphere. 2017;185:1090-1111 pubmed publisher
    ..A health risk assessment using the hazard quotient index (HQ) recommended by the USEPA suggests that there is no adverse health effect through dermal exposure, and there is no carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic harm to human health. ..
  35. Kenkel C, Almanza A, Matz M. Fine-scale environmental specialization of reef-building corals might be limiting reef recovery in the Florida Keys. Ecology. 2015;96:3197-212 pubmed
  36. Cinner J, Huchery C, MacNeil M, Graham N, McClanahan T, Maina J, et al. Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature. 2016;535:416-9 pubmed
    Ongoing declines in the structure and function of the world’s coral reefs require novel approaches to sustain these ecosystems and the millions of people who depend on them3...
  37. Renfro B, Chadwick N. Benthic community structure on coral reefs exposed to intensive recreational snorkeling. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0184175 pubmed publisher
    Chronic anthropogenic disturbances on coral reefs in the form of overfishing and pollution can shift benthic community composition away from stony corals and toward macroalgae...
  38. Fernandez J, Kelly M, Bell L. <i>Cinachyrella anatriaenilla</i> sp. nov., a new tetillid sponge with microacanthoxeas from American Samoa in the South Pacific. Zootaxa. 2017;4258:81-90 pubmed publisher
    ..Cinachyrella anatriaenilla sp. nov., described herein, is the fifth of 40 Cinachyrella spp. that contain lightly spined microacanthoxeas. ..
  39. Bertolino M, Costa G, Carella M, Cattaneo Vietti R, Cerrano C, Pansini M, et al. The dynamics of a Mediterranean coralligenous sponge assemblage at decennial and millennial temporal scales. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177945 pubmed publisher
  40. Ban S, Graham N, Connolly S. Evidence for multiple stressor interactions and effects on coral reefs. Glob Chang Biol. 2014;20:681-97 pubmed
    ..Overall, although in aggregate a large body of literature examines stressor effects on coral reefs and coral organisms, considerable gaps remain for numerous stressor interactions and effects, and insufficient ..
  41. Mouritsen H, Atema J, Kingsford M, Gerlach G. Sun Compass Orientation Helps Coral Reef Fish Larvae Return to Their Natal Reef. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e66039 pubmed publisher
    ..Predominant local recruitment, in turn, can contribute to genetic isolation and potential speciation. ..
  42. Stuhr M, Reymond C, Rieder V, Hallock P, Rahnenführer J, Westphal H, et al. Reef calcifiers are adapted to episodic heat stress but vulnerable to sustained warming. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0179753 pubmed publisher
    ..Secondly, there seem to be temporal constraints related to heat events among coral reef environments and reinforces the importance of temporal fluctuations in stress exposure in global-change studies and projections. ..
  43. Spiecker B, Gouhier T, Guichard F. Reciprocal feedbacks between spatial subsidies and reserve networks in coral reef meta-ecosystems. Ecol Appl. 2016;26:264-78 pubmed
  44. Van Wynsberge S, Gilbert A, Guillemot N, Heintz T, Tremblay Boyer L. Power analysis as a tool to identify statistically informative indicators for monitoring coral reef disturbances. Environ Monit Assess. 2017;189:311 pubmed publisher
    ..step toward identifying statistically relevant indicators of anthropogenic disturbances in New Caledonia's coral reefs, which can be useful in similar tropical reef ecosystems where little information is available regarding the ..
  45. Gingins S, Roche D, Bshary R. Mutualistic cleaner fish maintains high escape performance despite privileged relationship with predators. Proc Biol Sci. 2017;284: pubmed publisher
  46. Kadison E, Brandt M, Nemeth R, Martens J, Blondeau J, Smith T. Abundance of commercially important reef fish indicates different levels of over-exploitation across shelves of the U.S. Virgin Islands. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0180063 pubmed publisher
    ..This study considers those aspects, and illustrates the need for management of island artisanal fisheries that is tailored to the physical and spatial constraints imposed by insular platforms. ..
  47. Belhassen Y, Rousseau M, Tynyakov J, Shashar N. Evaluating the attractiveness and effectiveness of artificial coral reefs as a recreational ecosystem service. J Environ Manage. 2017;203:448-456 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper examines artificial coral reefs as recreational ecosystem services (RES) by evaluating their attractiveness and effectiveness and by examining ..
  48. Donner S, Rickbeil G, Heron S. A new, high-resolution global mass coral bleaching database. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0175490 pubmed publisher
    ..of mass coral bleaching have been reported in recent decades and have raised concerns about the future of coral reefs on a warming planet...
  49. Hargreaves Allen V, Mourato S, Milner Gulland E. Drivers of coral reef marine protected area performance. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0179394 pubmed publisher
    b>Coral reefs are severely threatened and a principal strategy for their conservation is marine protected areas (MPAs)...
  50. Liew Y, Li Y, Baumgarten S, Voolstra C, Aranda M. Condition-specific RNA editing in the coral symbiont Symbiodinium microadriaticum. PLoS Genet. 2017;13:e1006619 pubmed publisher
    ..This in turn may provide further acclimatization capacity to these organisms, and by extension, their coral hosts. ..
  51. Prasetia R, Sinniger F, Hashizume K, Harii S. Reproductive biology of the deep brooding coral Seriatopora hystrix: Implications for shallow reef recovery. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0177034 pubmed publisher
    ..hystrix to shallow reef rapid recovery appears limited, although they may recruit to shallow reefs through a multistep process over a few generations or through random extreme mixing such as typhoons. ..
  52. Reverter M, Sasal P, Tapissier Bontemps N, Lecchini D, Suzuki M. Characterisation of the gill mucosal bacterial communities of four butterflyfish species: a reservoir of bacterial diversity in coral reef ecosystems. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2017;93: pubmed publisher
  53. Stier A, Hanson K, Holbrook S, Schmitt R, Brooks A. Predation and landscape characteristics independently affect reef fish community organization. Ecology. 2014;95:1294-307 pubmed
    ..Our findings suggest two different pathways (i.e., habitat or predator shifts) by which natural and/or anthropogenic processes can drive variation in fish biodiversity and community assembly. ..