The BIOLOGY OF CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS is presented as a VIRTUAL DIVE, with text, photographs, and videos. All topics in
The ORDER is as follows. First comes a description of types of Caribbean reefs, including how they form and threats to their survival. Next comes an overview of their biodiversity including a small section on mangroves. There is also an account of potentially dangerous reef organisms. Later sections tell how organisms recruit to the reef, the hazards they face as larvae and juveniles, the role of asexual reproduction in recruitment, how as adults they compete for space and other vital resources, and the ways in which they live together. In other sections you will learn about nutrition of coral-reef organisms, including photosynthesis, herbivory, carnivory, detritivory, and bacterivory. The VIRTUAL DIVE concludes with a description of the many and varied defenses of reef organisms, and the role that colours play in behaviour and survival.
There are about 300 videos and 2600 illustrations, including photographs, drawings, graphs, and cartoons. A comprehensive
Finally, secondary or tertiary sortings of search results can be made in BCCR by including other search items such as author or topic. Thus, using the example above, all Condylactis entries could be further sorted to ones relating to topics of diet, reproduction, defense, or what-have-you. How the index can be used should be obvious once you get started.
You can access topics via the drop-down menu at the top of each page, or via the various links shown in blue throughout the text. All my own photographs and videos in BCCR are free for the taking. If, however, there is a "courtesy of..." descriptor, it means they belong to someone else and you must contact the person named for permission to use them. If you do use any resource item an acknowledgement and link to BCCR would be appreciated.
Special acknowledgements: the idea for BCCR was really motivated by the publication of several wonderfully illustrated books on Caribbean flora and fauna including Paul Humann’s series of descriptive guides, Ned Deloach’s fascinating account of reef-fish behaviour, and the Littler’s comprehensive guide to marine plants. By opening the scientific literature for specific references to the reef and its inhabitants, these books have been invaluable in creating the BCCR. I have strived for accuracy throughout the work, but I know that there will be many mistakes and omissions. Input from you on any aspect of the production is welcome. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special contributions of video and photographs from friends and colleagues are acknowledged elsewhere (see Thanks accessible from the menu above).
Throughout the VIRTUAL DIVE your seahorse dive-leader will explain what you are seeing. Whenever the dive leader appears, a video accompanies it. Simply CLICK ON the video in the usual way to see it. A description accompanies each video, usually in both voice and written forms. If you wish to view in silence, you will have to turn off your computer's sound.
This first video is included here as an example. It is actually taken from another section in BCCR dealing with schooling.
Cindy Young, a website guru of MOUSETRAP MULTIMEDIA was the motivating force in producing the first BCCR. Its design and format are her inspiration. Recently, with her help and encouragement the entire site has been made over with a cleaner, easier-to-use format, and we thank her for that!
On that note, if you would like to contribute photographs or video from your Caribbean dives, then please don't hesitate. When you think about it, photographing- and filming-SCUBA-divers are the ones on the spot, with first-hand knowledge of what is going on, and there are thousands of you. Such contributions would be interesting and provocative, and could lead researchers aong new and different lines of exploration. It would make the BCCR participatory and certainly more topical. Contributions will of course be acknowledged where they appear and will also include a link to your favourite dive-Club or personal website if you wish.