Facilitating coral development

Lithosphere (solid materials, soil and rocks) – corals

Fig. 5. Habitat requirement coral lithosphere

Bare substratum availability: Corals require bare hard substratum to establish. Substratum limitation reduces settlement, and subsequent growth. The substratum needs to be bare, which means that it must not be covered with macroalgae or sediment.

Geomorphology: Rough-water coral reefs that develop in trade-wind-,swell-, and storm-dominated seas consist of five standard geomorphic zones: a back-reef lagoon, a reef flat, a reef front, a reef slope and a fore-reef talus apron. These zones are separated by simple slope breaks: back-reef lagoons terminate at the sand slope break, reef flats terminate at the reef-crest break, reef fronts terminate at the shelf-edge break, and reef slopes terminate at the fore-reef talus break (Blanchon, 2011). The geomorphology of the reef affects coral persistence largely due to differences in abiotic processes that occur in the different regions.