Capstone Title

Coral Reefs of the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman: Effects of Oil Pollution

Defense Date

1995

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Richard E. Dodge

Abstract

Coral reefs are tropical and semitropical, shallow water ecosystems consisting of a solid limestone (CaC03 ) structure strong enough to withstand the force of waves (Dawis 1981). Their development is governed by four major factors: temperature (above 20°C), bright light, stable high salinity, and immersion (Human 1993; Jaap et al. 1992). Of all the calcium carbonate-secreting organisms that contribute to modern reef formation, the scleractinian corals are the most important (Burnes 1987). They are a major source of calcium carbonate, shelter and substrate for a wide range of associated fauna and flora, and an important food chain component as producers and consumers (Loya & Rinkevich 1980; Wyers et al . 1986; Dodge et al. 1984; Burnes 1987).

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