Coral Guard-Crabs

Courtesy of Seabird McKeon
September 30, 2014
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Courtesy of Seabird McKeon

Coral reefs like this one in the Indo-Pacific have long protected humans living in coastal areas, acting as barriers again storms, wave damage and erosion. In September 2014, Smithsonian scientists Seabird McKeon and Jenna Moore published new research highlighting the role of diversity in the healthy functioning of coral reef ecosystems, showing that guard-crab species and size classes offer different kinds of effective protection against various threats to coral reefs. (Photo courtesy of Seabird McKeon)