Photosynthesis and Solution in Formation of Coral Reefs*


THE old writers on coral reefs such as Chamisso, Darwin, Dana, Semper, L. and A. Agassiz, Murray, and, perhaps, Wharton could scarcely be labelled as belonging to any particular science in a modern sense. In contrast, the investigator of the ‘coral reef problem’ to-day is usually either a geologist or a zoologist, for the botanist has not understood, up to the present, that he may claim an equal partnership. Unfortunately, the geologist rarely has sufficient knowledge of biology, although well acquainted, perhaps, with the shapes of organisms and the possibilities of earth movements. The biologist, on the other hand, has views as to the disappearance of Gondwanaland; but his writings indicate his incredulity as to any suggested existence of similar earth fluctuations to-day. The mobile crust of the earth allows of movements in the earth's surface; but these are more often supposed to be activated by chemical processes in the inner material than by alterations in the land and sea above. In addition, there are the physical and chemical reactions of the water of the ocean, and the possibilities of these, little understood even today, are almost unconsidered.

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GARDINER, J. Photosynthesis and Solution in Formation of Coral Reefs*. Nature 127, 857–858 (1931).

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