The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef


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Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. This book was required reading for a course that I took in Tropical Marine ecology. It is a rather interesting narrative, that brings together facts and the personal experiences of the author.

It would be an excellent book for people who were interested in this topic and whose major in college was not science. As a scientific resource, however, it was very slow reading; it was descriptive rather than detailed, and at times I felt like I was reading the transcript from a Richard Attenborough episode of Planet Earth. Nonetheless, the author hit upon a very important concept for understanding coral reefs and their inhabitants: This symbiotic relationship gives them the energetic wherewithal to synthesize calcium carbonate which is used in the construction of the calcified reef.

Thus, it is the interweaving of the animal, vegetable, and mineral aspects of coral which comprise the enchanted braid, and hence, the title of the book. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. Required reading for anyone interested in our oceans. One person found this helpful. Even if you have no prior knowledge about reefs, this book explains and makes sense of the entire reef ecosystem. I would highly reccommend it, especially for teenagers with an interest in coral reefs and thier preservation, to spark thier interest in environmental issues.

Evelyn Hutchinson The natural history of coral reefs helps determined the relationship between human and the environment, and an understanding of climate change. The great mystery of the coral reefs is an interesting factor to study on because they represent less than two-tenth of one percent of the area of the global ocean, but overflowing with life in astonishing ways. Coral reefs are very important to the environment because they are responsible for half of all calcium sedimentation occur in the ocean and one of the most complex ecosystem in the sea.

Along with that, they help us understand the history of the environment, but also the key to understand climate change. But devastating, climate change and human activities is causing the declining of the coral reefs. And without coral reefs, the susceptibility of all the marine species that depend on the reefs will hit a devastating decline of population, or even worst, extinction.

Also, it will be a downfall for humans as well, because some people around the globe also depend on coral reefs for food, livelihood, protection from battering waves, and many more. Therefore, the natural history of the coral reef has hit a roller coaster ride, and will continue to ride it until we do something about it.

The beauty and fascinating colors of the coral reefs is important to both the marine life and humans, which Davidson explains so well in this worth reading novel.

Since I'm not much of a book reader, reading this book has caught my eyes and fascinate me. I enjoyed every second I read this book. Davidson did a great job in writing this novel and explain well about the natural history of coral reefs. Also, he did a great job in tying why the coral reefs is consider as "the enchanted braid" of the global ecosystem. Additionally, this book features eight beautiful color pages of photographs. And it is an easy read, but with some science terminologies if you are not familiar with.

But overall, I enjoy reading this book! Osha Gray Davidson starts off his book about the coral reefs by telling us exactly how little we really know about the ocean. It, and the coral reefs especially, is teeming with life. He compares the biodiversity of the coral reef to the tropical rain forest and then proceeds to say that even the rain forest cannot hold a candle to the amount of different species living in, on, and around the coral reefs.

It is this incredible biodiversity that makes the coral reefs such a precious treasure, but it also makes them vulnerable. There is a delicate balance between the different species on the reef that needs to be maintained or the entire reef will suffer or even die. He then goes on to talk about how coral can be considered an animal, a mineral, and a vegetable at the same time. He also talks about the complex relationship between coral reefs, sea-grass meadows, and mangroves. The second part of the book is about human interaction with the coral reefs and our affects on them.

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The author talks in depth about what is happening in Jakarta. An entire coral island called Nyamuk Besar completely disappeared. It was killed off by algae, which smother corals. The algae are attracted if the water in the area becomes too rich in nutrients. In addition to polluting the water with the algae-attracting nutrients, Jakarta also pollutes the water when heavy metals in the air from car exhaust and industrial facilities settle into Jakarta Bay.

But it is not just what humans put into the water that hurts the coral reefs, but also what we take out. The calcium laid down by generations of coral has been mined from Jakarta Bay for centuries for use in construction. This, as can be expected, is devastating to the coral reefs. Overfishing also hurts the coral reefs. Fish eat the algae that would otherwise suffocate the coral. When the fish are removed, the algae takes over, killing the reef. Increasing human population has increased the fishing industry and the area is desperately overfished.

Although Jakarta Bay is one of the most extreme cases of coral reef devastation, it is certainly not the only place in the world where this sort of thing is happening. Davidson makes the case that most of the decline in coral reefs around the world is due to human activity. In addition to the destructive activities listed above, there are other practices that destroy coral reefs.

One of these is blast fishing, which involves using small homemade explosives to kill or stun all the fish in an area.

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Divers then go around and grab all the fish floating in the water. Not only does the practice contribute to the overfishing, but the explosions damage the coral. The Enchanted Braid is easy to read and understand. Davidson is able to take complicated scientific concepts and put them into terms that anyone can understand. I was sure I was going to be bored while reading this book, but instead I found it fascinating.

The information is presented more like a story than a textbook.

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His personal stories written from a first-person perspective give the book the feel of a novel. See all 8 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.

About this book

Osha Gray Davidson's urgent clarion call to halt today's man-made degradation of coral reefs is both alarming and persuasive, effectively underscored by the rich historical context of passages from Darwin's captivating diary of his seminal work on reefs years ago. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Echo Meter Touch 2 - iOS 9. Thus, it is the interweaving of the animal, vegetable, and mineral aspects of coral which comprise the enchanted braid, and hence, the title of the book. Limning the intricacy of their complex ecosystems, he characterizes coral reefs as ""the Russian novels of the sea world, full of passion and avarice, convoluted and interweaving story lines, and colorful characters by the dozens.

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