Diverse Coral Reef Systems Serve As Ideal Expe...

Diverse Coral Reef Systems Serve As Ideal Experiments for Niche and Neutral Theories. Organisms cover every square inch of coral reef, which led many to believe that their limited potential to partition resources into niches would make them a prime example of neutral dynamics. In fact, species diversity was more variable than would be assumed by neutral theory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To tie everything the Theory articles have explored together, this last installment is short and sweet, concluding this historical series on Charles Darwin and his passion for  and ideas on corals of the marine environment.

After Darwin’s time spent abroad on the HMS Beagle, he was welcomed back to England not only by his family, but also local geologists, members of the British government, and the general public. People, including his former teachers respectfully listened to the stories he had to tell. He gained funding from the government to continue his research. And the public served as an interested mass in what he had discovered on the voyage. They were particularly interested in his geological discoveries, like the origin and distribution of coral reef formations (“Charles Darwin, Geologist”).

All in all, Charles Darwin’s theory on coral reef formation is the basis of what is largely accepted today as the scientific explanation for the origin of coral reef structures found worldwide. Rising volcanoes with coral fossils embedded in its geologic makeup and the fact that coral polyps cannot survive below the depth of 120 feet or above the oceans’ surface are both valid pieces of evidence that can be proven again and again in today’s modern science. Darwin’s contribution to science on the HMS Beagle, for the community of 19th Century England where he grew up, and in this day of contemporary research and discovery has helped individuals of science and other disciplines, information systems, and education lead the way to a brighter future as well as give insight into the historical events that created what is now “today”.


“Charles Darwin, Geologist.” Cornell Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2015. <http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100674520>.