World Atlas of Coral Reefs

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Overview


Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world, host to an extraordinary variety of marine plants and animals. They are also one of the world's most fragile and endangered ecosystems. The growth of mass tourism, combined with the boom in popularity of scuba diving, has brought these spectacular ecosystems to public attention across the planet.

Coral reefs provide essential fish habitat, support endangered and threatened species, and harbor protected marine mammals and turtles. They are a significant source of food, provide income and employment through tourism and marine recreation, and offer countless other benefits to humans, including supplying compounds for pharmaceuticals. Yet coral reefs around the world are rapidly being degraded by a number of human activities, such as overfishing, coastal development, and the introduction of sewage, fertilizer, and sediment.

World Atlas of Coral Reefs provides the first detailed and definitive account of the current state of our planet's coral reefs. With its wealth of authoritative and up-to-date information, the finest maps available, and detailed descriptive texts and images by leading experts, this full-color volume will be a critical resource for anyone interested in these vital environments.

World Atlas of Coral Reefs contains eighty-four full-page newly researched and drawn color maps, together with more than two hundred color photos illustrating reefs, reef animals, and images taken from space by NASA astronauts during the 2000 and 2001 space shuttle flights. The authors provide a wealth of information on the geography, biodiversity, and human uses of coral reefs, as well as details about the threats to their existence.

Prepared at the UNEP–World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, England--the United Nations office responsible for providing authoritative information on the condition of global biodiversity--the Atlas will be a critical tool for scientists, students, policymakers, and planners at local, national, and international levels alike.

Publication of the World Atlas of Coral Reefs is supported by international institutions including the United Nations Environment Programme; The Marine Aquarium Council, The International Coral Reef Initiative; ICLARM--The World Fish Center; the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, and the Aventis Foundation.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Best described as an 'atlas plus'-provides a comprehensive and detailed account of all the world's coral reefs. While this atlas will serve as a valuable reference for scientists, it is also accessible to lay readers and students interested in ecology, scuba diving, marine biology, geography, or just good photographs. A number of other books treat coral reefs, but none is as comprehensive and as current as this work.
Charleston Post & Courier
Filled with the latest research, color photographs, maps and charts, and NASA images from space, the atlas is the first such work to offer an unbiased, comprehensive report on the world's reefs, and it is a treasure for a hardcore diver.
Science Magazine
Offers the most accurate estimate ever of the world's total coral reef area.
Science
Offers the most accurate estimate ever of the world's total coral reef area.
Times Literary Supplement
The authors have applied the best in contemporary marine science and cartography to a dauntingly difficult project, and the result is a credit to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The World Atlas of Coral Reefs is a good example of the value to environmental policymakers of combining the accurate description of a valued resource with a sound understanding of the natural and anthropogenic forces which may alter and, at times, threaten it.
Globe and Mail
There are gorgeous photos of fish with names like butter hamlet, and of course the panoply of corals hard and soft.
Library Journal
While coral reefs cover less than two percent of Earth's continental shelf area, they are the most biologically diverse marine habitats in the world. Prepared at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-World Conservation Monitoring Center, this reference best described as an "atlas plus" provides a comprehensive and detailed account of all the world's coral reefs. Each area of the world's reefs has its own chapter, with sections for each country; coverage includes location, description, maps, photographs, health assessment, and legal protection status. Also included are several excellent introductory chapters on the definition of coral reefs, biodiversity, ecological threats and responses, and reef mapping. An extensive bibliography is included with each chapter, along with information on the sources for the chapter maps. While this atlas will serve as a valuable reference for scientists (one of our biologists has already recommended it to our library), it is also accessible to lay readers and students interested in ecology, scuba diving, marine biology, geography, or just good photographs. A number of other books treat coral reefs (almost all of them listed in the chapter bibliographies), but none is as comprehensive and as current as this work. Highly recommended for all public, high school, and academic libraries. Margaret Rioux, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. Lib., MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Unique in scope, this atlas provides cleanly rendered maps, colorful photos, and lots of solid information. Part one is devoted to background material on such topics as coral-reef evolution, species diversity, environmental concerns, and even reef mapping techniques. Content is detailed enough to satisfy adults with a scientific background, yet remains accessible to high school students. The section on types of coral reefs is accompanied by excellent illustrations. Photos liberally sprinkled throughout range from super-macroscopic space views to the microscopic. The bulk of the book looks at each global region. Maps show reefs and the areas surrounding them. Included are natural features such as forests and human constructs such as dive centers, settlements, and protected underwater sites. Instead of making dramatic, emotion-laden speeches for preservation, the book defends the value of this wondrous ecosystem rationally, providing plenty of factual backup and pointing out cases where sensible and sustainable management is possible. This atlas covers all bases, making it a great resource for students and teachers alike.-Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
This authoritative, thorough reference, replete with numerous detailed maps, color illustrations, and tables of data, is published in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), whose mission is to provide scientifically rigorous products and services related to the environment. It begins with overview material about reefs—their importance, threats to their survival, and reef mapping—then proceeds country by country (within regions), identifying particular characteristics and the state of reef health in each area. The volume is slightly oversize: 8.5x12<">. The three authors (Mark D. Spalding, Corinna Ravilious, and Edmund P. Green) are all affiliated with UNEP- WCMC. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520232556
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 978,154
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.63 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark D. Spalding is Senior Programme Officer of UNEP-WCMC's Marine and Coastal Programme. Corinna Ravilious is a geographic information systems technical officer at UNEP-WCMC, and Edmund P. Green is head of UNEP-WCMC's Marine and Coastal Programme.
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