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Corals of Tropical Oceans

K P Biswas (Author)

During the Author's tenure as Director of Fisheries of Andaman and Nicobar Islands between 1981-84, he was fascinated by the graceful and soft colour of the submarine garden along the coastal waters of south Andaman, full of live corals of red , orange, purple colouration at Eandoor and Chiriatapu. As a head of the Department of Fisheries, he had a duty to check illegal querrying and smuggling of the coral fauna from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Smuggled dead and bleaches corals were confiscated by the departmental staff, while embarking in ships and planes. The destruction of live corals pained him. This give him the initial impetus to know and write on corals.

The present book, "Corals of Tropical Oceans" is an outcome of his well nurtured thoughts. In the book, attempt has been made to start with the zoogeography of coral fauna by outlining their distribution in the world oceans, reef evolution and regional differences. Status of tropical coral reefs followed by classification, both of conventional taxonomy, their colours and shapes and the characteristics of past corals and recent reefs have been mentioned.

While outlining the concept of reef biology, the growth and calcification of hermatypic corals, their sexual maturity and reproduction, together with spawing, recruitment and productivity have been taken into account. In the reef ecology, reef communities, their interactions, zonation pattern and regional differences, the diversity of the species, competition, predation among communities to attain an equilibrium state have been discussed in detailed.

The composition of Scleractinian, the reef building corals in Atlantic and Indo-Pacific reefs were compared in respect of their ecology and community structures. Describing the coral of South Island, reef wilderness of Phoenix Islands, dazzling corals of Palau, gorgonian corals of Tamil nadu, and corals around Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Indian ocean, an idea of coral distribution and reef zonation has been put forth in the light of species diversity.

High primary production in coral reef ecosystem together with nutrient recycling and the role of algae in the reef system including cryptofauna and bioerosion of the reef have been mentioned under ecology chapter f the book.

Under the section reef fisheries, not only the ecology of reef fishes and interaction among themselves, but also their potential, fisheries production, diversity and abundance, their food and feeding habits, forage bade and interaction of mangrove with coral reef fish communities have been covered.

Variation of coral reef communities, ecological stability and biodiversity, completion among corals, consumer-producer relations, symbiotic association with corals, their interaction with adjoining seagrass field and formation of resilience and functional group towards economic development have been taken into consideration in the dynamics chapter of the book.

Natural disturbances and human influence bring dark prospects for coral reefs. In response to climate change especially due to warming of sea water temperature, mass bleaching of corals occurred in many reefs over the world. Catastropic mortality due to acidification and tsunami event and the management to tide over coral reef crisis also find place in the book.

Microbial agents associated with corals for medicine, and already extracted a few of them from sot corals raise a future hope to discover more medicines from the reef communities to treat the present non-curable diseases like cancer and Aids.

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About the author

K P Biswas

K.P. Biswas, M.Sc., Ph.D., D.F.Sc. (Bom), Fisheries (L-I), Principal, Fisheries Training Institute, Government of Orissa, part time lecturer in fisheries college, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Manager fisheries Orissa Maritime and Chilka Area Development Corporation, Bhubaneswar, Director of Fisheries, Adnaman and Nicobar Island, Visiting Professor, University of Fisheries and Animal Sciences, Govt. of West Bengal and at present as Visiting Professor of Marine Science Department , Calcutta University has been associated with fish and fisheries science and its development for more than 46 years. He has specialized in electro fisheries, sea fishing, fish breeding and industrial fisheries and has published 125 research papers, review papers, and articles on fish and fisheries, besides publishing seven book in the field of fisheries. The author has worked as a member of the Fact Finding Committee of Chilka Lake Fisheries, appointed by the Hon'ble High court of Orissa and also as a member of the Expert Committee of Government of Orissa on the environmental impact of trawl fishery on the coastal ecology and extuaries with special reference to migration and nesting of Olive Redley turtles in Orissa coast. He is now actively engaged as a Fellow Member and Vice President of Zoological Society, Kolkata, Fellow Member of Indian Association of Biological Sciences life Member of Indian Science Congress Association, Indian Science News Assocation, Bangiya Bignan Parisad, Centre for Applied Science and Technology and published about fifty articles and research papers on fisheries and aquatic environment and marine ecology between 1993 to 2003.

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Bibliographic information

Title Corals of Tropical Oceans
Author K P Biswas
Format Hardcover
Date published: 16.01.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170355265, 9788170355267
length xiv+228p., Tables; Figures; Plates; Maps; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.