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Coral and Coral Reef

Humans And Coral Reefs

Corals reefs provide extremely valuable environmental services for people, including the protection of shorelines from the full onslaught of storm-driven waves. Some of these services are of direct economic benefit to people, and they could be used on a sustained-yield basis, for example, through ecotourism or a controlled fishery.

Coral reefs serve as a natural laboratory where biologists are engaged in research that advances biological and ecological knowledge, while also being necessary for the wise conservation of coral reefs and their natural resources. Geologists study living coral reefs to better understand their ancient ancestors and because some of the world's largest oil and gas deposits are associated with petroleum reservoirs in ancient reefs. Geologists are interested in learning how these reefs entrap fossil fuels, and gain insight by studying modern reefs. Biochemical researchers have extracted more than 1,200 potentially useful compounds from coral-reef organisms, some of which are being used in the treatment of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, and pain.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Condensation to CoshCoral and Coral Reef - The Builders: Corals And Coralline Algae, Biology Of Corals, Coral Reef Distribution, Environmental Setting And Requirements