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The Biology of Coral Reefs$
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Charles R. C. Sheppard, Simon K. Davy, and Graham M. Pilling

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566359.001.0001

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Microbial, Microalgal, and Planktonic Reef Life

Microbial, Microalgal, and Planktonic Reef Life

Chapter:
(p.130) 5 Microbial, Microalgal, and Planktonic Reef Life
Source:
The Biology of Coral Reefs
Author(s):

Charles R. C. Sheppard

Simon K. Davy

Graham M. Pilling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566359.003.0005

Microbes, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protozoans and microalgae, are the most abundant and arguably the most important members of coral reef communities. They occur in the water column and sediment, and in association with other reef organisms. This chapter describes the abundance, diversity, function and productivity of microbes, with an emphasis on free-living types. They are key to recycling and retention of organic matter via the ‘microbial loop’, and are an important food source for larger reef organisms. The metazoan zooplankton are also described, including larvae of most reef invertebrates and fish. They are described in terms of their duration in the plankton, settlement behaviour (e.g. of coral larvae), daily migration patterns, and as a food source for larger organisms. Their importance for inter-reef connectivity is discussed.

Keywords:   bacteria, viruses, protozoa, archaea, microalgae, microbial loop, zooplankton, trophic links, diurnal plankton, larvae, connectivity

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