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 Environment and Conservation Division-MELAD

The lagoon of Tarawa harbors the richest benthos documented for any Pacific atoll. The biota is strongly influenced by its setting in the equatorial upwelling zone and the unusual geomorphology of the atoll, with a submerged western rim, but largely closed and islet-strewn eastern and southern sides.

The purpose of this paper therefore is to describe aspects of the benthic ecology and biota of Tarawa Atoll and to consider how the unusual setting of the atoll has affected the bentho.