Ecological Patterns in Coral Reefs

As covered in this week’s reading, a number of natural ecological patterns can be seen in coral reef ecosystems.   The video below gives a brief overview of coral reefs and their dynamics.  It does not specifically address the different spacial patterns that occur, but it shows a wide variety of coral reef footage that does display the different patterns that emerge.  The reading for this week mentioned some types of patterns that can occur in coral reefs, such as regularly spaced coral plates and reef islands that form.  The coral naturally exhibits individual growth symmetry and pattern, which then lead to larger growth patterns once other outside factors become involved.  These factors can include the flow path of water, the available nutrients of an ecosystem and its distribution, and the dispersion of other organisms that directly influence the coral.  These types of small scale and large scale patterns, and some of their influences, can be seen in the following video after the first 25 seconds or so.

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