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By O.A. Jones (Eds.)

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In some cases, it completely obliterates the central depression. 7 m to form the reef rock slope. It is on the reef rock rim that the reef blocks occur. These are massive coral heads or pieces of reef rock up to 2 m high, broken from the outer edge of the reef, and carried on to the reef surface by waves during cyclones. " 3. The Algae of the Great Barrier Reefs 55 1. Rubble Crest The rubble, largely because of the high degree of emergence it experiences, supports an impoverished algal flora. There is typically a yellowbrown stain of Entophysalis deusta and, in some places, an inconspicuous, thin, partial encrustation of lithothamnia.

C. ) Howe, Microdictyon obscurum J. , Valonia ventricosa J. , and Hypoglossum sp. Dead coral surfaces moved by storms so that they protrude above the general limit of coral growth carry encrusting colonies of Ralfsia expansa J. , which may form an almost unbroken, tarlike layer. 3. The Algae of the Great Barrier Reefs 53 The sandy floor is mainly free from macroscopic algae, only three species being found there. Halimeda cylindracea Dene and H. macroloba Dene, both with massive, embedded, rhizoidal bases, occur sparsely over some reef flats, both usually in small groups of several plants occupying an area of up to a few square meters.

Permanently submerged, dead coral branches lining the heavily shaded labyrinthiform cavities beneath the platform surface carry other species of lithothamnia, usually of a deeper pink color, together with dark, dull red crusts of Peyssonelia spp. Deposition of coral shingle occurs toward its seaward limit. This becomes progressively heavier, filling the interstices of the platform and finally leading to the obliteration of the moat which is replaced by the reef rock rim. C. LAGOON Where a lagoon borders a cay, thç sandy beach may shelve gently through a gradually deepening reef flat into the lagoon, or sublittoral shingle at the base of the beach may slope precipitously to almost maximum depth.

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