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The Atlantic barrier reef ecosystem at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize: I. Structure and communities
Rützler, K.; MacIntyre, I.G. (1982). The Atlantic barrier reef ecosystem at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize: I. Structure and communities. Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences, 12. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington. 539 pp.
Part of: Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington,. ISSN 0196-0768, more
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  • Rützler, K.
  • MacIntyre, I.G.

    The results of the first series of multidisciplinary investigations of the Caribbean barrier reef complex near Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, are reported in 34 papers in this volume, which begins with a summary of past work on the Belizean reefs and cays. The first section treats the structure of barrier reef habitats in the vicinity of Carrie Bow Cay, influential physical parameters such as tides and currents, geological and sedimentological history of lagoon, reef, and island substrates, and the island's environment, including its climate and the effects of hurricanes. Subsequent papers analyze the distribution of endolithic microorganisms in carbonate substrates, and the diversity, standing crop, and production in selected lagoon and back-reef habitats. Related contributions report on the benthos of an unusual submarine cave and on the surface zooplankton over reef and lagoon bottoms. One section is devoted to the systematics and local distribution of flora and fauna. Marine plants covered are plankton diatoms, benthic algae—including a detailed study of the red alga Polysiphonia—and sea grasses. Faunistic studies focus on hydroids, medusae, stony corals, octocorals, sipunculans, anthurid isopods, pycnogonids, a marine chironomid, ophiuroids, and crinoids. In the papers on Polysiphonia, hydroids, stony corals, and anthurids, all species are illustrated for identification by nonspecialists; figures of important or unusual examples are shown in the other systematic contributions. New species are described among anthurids, pycnogonids, and ophiuroids. A section on ecological responses discusses the reaction of algae to grazing pressure, the life history of an ichthyo-parasitic hydroid, the growth response of the reef coral Montastrea annularis to a light gradient, and associations between zoanthids and their sponge hosts. Included in this section are discussions of the ecology of the zoanthid Isaurus duchassaingi, settlement behavior and development of the bivalve Malleus candeanus, and behavioral ecology of two closely related reef fishes, genus Acanthemblemana. The volume concludes with two general surveys of the barrier reef and cays, which discuss the Carrie Bow reef section and cay in relation to the overall barrier reef complex.

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