The role of framework in modern reefs and its application to ancient systems
Uniformitarianism — the principle that “the present is the key to the past” — forms the cornerstone of geologists’ efforts to unravel the prehistory of our world. When comparing modern and fossil reefs, a fundamental problem arises because the organisms that largely drive this important biological system have evolved over geological time. This has fueled a heated debate over the appropriateness of using modern reefs dominated by scleractinian corals as models for ancient ones built by stromatoporoids, sponges and a host of seemingly dissimilar organisms.
Hubbard, Dennis K., Ivan P. Gill, and Randolph B. Burke. "The role of framework in modern reefs and its application to ancient systems." In The History and Sedimentology of Ancient Reef Systems, edited by George D. Stanley, Jr., 351-386. New York: Springer, 2001.