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Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas Paperback – June 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book brilliantly captures the lives of both coral reefs and the scientists that study them. It is a 21st century version of the Log from the Sea of Cortez--full of wisdom and humor. --Nancy Knowlton, Staff Scientist Emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and holder of the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The demise of many coral communities in the oceans and the threat to the rest are among the most stirring concerns regarding the state of our planet. But precisely because we respond to these grim facts with distress we should become educated in the issues involved. The book by Rohwer and Youle provides the chance for such an education, and does so in a manner that is accessible to all. Written in a reader-friendly style that belies the authority of the authors, this book introduces the biological, physical, and anthropogenic issues related to corals and their tribulations. Perhaps not surprising are accounts of the relationship of people and bacteria to the health of corals. Not only do the authors accomplish a difficult task--to enlighten readers of a varied background of these issues--but they engage us personally with stories about the people who conduct this research. We are taken on board ship to witness the problems, big and small, that face expeditions to the coral reefs. This book is a standout in the genre of current science writing. --Moselio Schaechter, Distinguished Professor, emeritus, Tufts University, and author of Microbe and In the Company of Mushrooms.

This book brilliantly captures the lives of both coral reefs and the scientists that study them. It is a 21st century version of the Log from the Sea of Cortez--full of wisdom and humor. --Nancy Knowlton, Staff Scientist Emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and holder of the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

A blessedly clear and concise book that beguiles you with love for sea and science, even as it delivers critical details, tiny and large, of what is happening in our world's waters. --Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us

Reading this book was an engaging, entertaining, educational experience. --Stanley Maloy, Dean, College of Sciences, SDSU

The writing style is excellent, so much so that an intelligent reader with no previous knowledge of coral biology or microbiology can appreciate the beauty, importance and complexity of the coral holobiont (the coral host plus its associated microorganisms) and coral reefs. --Eugene Rosenberg, Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University

The demise of many coral communities in the oceans and the threat to the rest are among the most stirring concerns regarding the state of our planet. But precisely because we respond to these grim facts with distress we should become educated in the issues involved. The book by Rohwer and Youle provides the chance for such an education, and does so in a manner that is accessible to all. Written in a reader-friendly style that belies the authority of the authors, this book introduces the biological, physical, and anthropogenic issues related to corals and their tribulations. Perhaps not surprising are accounts of the relationship of people and bacteria to the health of corals. Not only do the authors accomplish a difficult task--to enlighten readers of a varied background of these issues--but they engage us personally with stories about the people who conduct this research. We are taken on board ship to witness the problems, big and small, that face expeditions to the coral reefs. This book is a standout in the genre of current science writing. --Moselio Schaechter, Distinguished Professor, emeritus, Tufts University, and author of Microbe and In the Company of Mushrooms

About the Author

Forest Rohwer, Ph.D., is a world-renowned marine microbial ecologist. For over 20 years, he has been diving and researching on coral reefs, unraveling the mystery of their recent decline. He has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions, including the prestigious Young Investigators Award of the International Society of Microbial Ecology.

Forest Rohwer, Ph.D., is a world-renowned marine microbial ecologist. For over 20 years, he has been diving and researching on coral reefs, unraveling the mystery of their recent decline. He has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions, including the prestigious Young Investigators Award of the International Society of Microbial Ecology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Plaid Press (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982701209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982701201
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book is a gem. Aside from appreciating the importance and , especially at this moment in time, the relevancy of it's content, I would like to thank the authors for structuring the chapters in such a way that even a non-scientist like me finds it fascinating to read. The pictures painted in the narrative , the second part of each chapter, provide the perfect gateway to the more scientific body of the chapter.
I recommend this book to all who ,like me, live through their eyes.
Brigitte Sekirka Cooper
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No sharks no coral reefs! This is a one-liner that will live for a long time. The arguments presented in this book allow you to see the big picture. Based on solid biology, that is, including both microbes and larger animals and plants, you are presented with a well documented and logical chain of mechanisms explaining the deteriorating conditions for coral reefs. In addition you are presented with a vivid account of science in real life. This is good fun and serves to build trust vis-à-vis the authors genuine experience. A strong sense of responsibility towards our common ocean and its future shines through the presentation, yet scientific reasoning is the sole guiding principle for the arguments. In view of the global destruction of the fish community it could, for example, be tempting make a comparison between coral reefs and the destruction of the rainforest. Forest Rower and Merry Youle however manage to capture the larger context and importance of the ecosystem structure by being able to make connections through the entire food-web of the coral reef and not by inference to a different system.
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Format: Paperback
For the amateur SCUBA enthusiast the material presented in the narrative is probably a real eye-opener. From low level microbs all the way up the food chain (web)to the sharks, the complex life formations required to keep the coral reef alive are mind boggling.

The book is part college text containing significant amounts of research and part recreational reading sure to keep even a lay diver interested in seeking more information as the story unfolds. A nice job all around. A background in reefs is probably presupposed as the authors jump right into research needs and findings without providing requisit underpinnings. But, then again, it's not going to be bought by a casual reader seeking colorful pictures. There is sufficient information to interest the lay reader as well as technical data to please SCUBA divers seeking to learn more about what they see in coral reef formations. In summary, the book is a good read and deserves a place on bookshelves for current and reference information.
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Format: Paperback
Much has been written on coral reef biology, conservation and the biodiversity. The strength of this book lies in its breadth in using a systems approach to studying coral reef health from actual field expeditions. From the number of sharks to the types of bacteria and dissolved organic carbon in the oceans all lead to a symbiotic relationship with coral reefs. The stories that precede each chapter provide a glimpse into the fun, excitement, tedium and hardships of scientific field work.

The chapters are divided into first describing what makes up coral reefs and then describing associated diseases and stressors of corals and ending finally with conservation practices that may save coral reefs for future generations. The authors use a number of field expeditions to places such as the Line Islands to illustrate the challenges in pinpointing causes to the decline of coral reefs. Taking a close look at bacteriophages and the microbial health of corals is an often overlooked when examining corals. This view also impacts what can be done for the overall conservation of coral reefs and their associated fisheries. The chemistry and metabolism that produce an interplay of feedback machanisms is greatly appreciated in this small and enjoyable book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic and necessary for anybody who is interested in either microbial ecology or coral reefs. It has an attractive approach using anecdotes that allow readers to relate to the sophisticated scientific concepts. Moreover, the chapters are organized to cover the subject from different angles so one enjoys reading the book, in the meantime grasp a good understanding of the relation between microbes and coral reefs.
I recommend this book to marine biologists, microbiologists and everybody who is interested in understanding the problems that face the beautiful coral reefs all over the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book blends rigorous academic ideas into a beautiful and witty story. It is an excellent introduction to coral ecology and the problems facing it (but goes far beyond "the reefs are dying, the reefs are dying" and dives right into the causes, the causes of the causes, and what the solutions are). All told through the pen of a wonderful writer.

This is a rare book that could be used as supplementary material for a high school biology course, all the way to grad school. I would also expect my non-scientist parents to both enjoy reading and learn something from it. Everybody will be able to get different things out of it. I highly recommend it.
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