John E. Warme, 1977. "Carbonate Borers—Their Role in Reef Ecology and Preservation", Reefs and Related Carbonates—Ecology and Sedimentology, Stanley H. Frost, Malcolm P. Weiss, John B. Saunders
Download citation file:
Studies of both modern and ancient reefs may benefit from focus not only on processes of reef construction and growth, but also on processes of their destruction and/or preservation.
Marine borers play an important role in the ecology of living reefs and associated habitats, and in the sedimentologic history of ancient reefs and reef-associated facies. Carbonate substrates of all kinds exposed on the shallow seabed are converted rapidly by borers into mud- and sand-size or coarser debris. Coral skeletons particularly are affected, with bioerosion commencing on the older parts of living skeletons and ceasing only if the substrates are buried, completely encrusted, or otherwise removed from reach of the borers.
Carbonate materials of living reefs are fixed, altered, and lost owing to processes that are both organic (skeletal precipitation, incrustation, boring) and inorganic (void-sedimentation, cementation). The difficulties or impracticalities of accurately delimiting the relative importance of these processes to calculate total carbonate budgets on modern reefs, and especially on ancient ones, can be met, in part, by careful inspection of small samples. Such samples commonly show that episodes of framework growth, incrustation, sedimentation, and cementation exhibit continuous or sporadic boring that may account for loss of most or all of the original framework although there is no loss in “reef” mass.
Figures & Tables
Reefs and Related Carbonates—Ecology and Sedimentology
Studies in Geology 4: Reefs and Related Carbonates–Ecology and Sedimentology