What is a coral reef?

Les Kaufman lesk at bio.bu.edu
Fri Jun 12 15:33:37 EDT 1998

Hi, John.  I think there are two ways to go on this.

1.  The honest way.  A coral reef is a bioherm in which the plurality of
active calcification is attributable to scleractinians.

2.  The more useful way.  A coral reef is a bioherm in which
scleractinians are a conspicuous element.

Either of these sorts of definitions allows us to include most of what
your average reef scientist would consider working on, to be subdivided
later.  It may continue to offend algologists, however.

 Les Kaufman
Boston University Marine Program
lesk at bio.bu.edu
617-353-5560 office
617-353-6965 lab
617-353-6340 fax

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