The primary criteria used to delineate the Coral Triangle were:
- High species biodiversity (more than 500 coral species, high biodiversity of reef fishes, foraminifera, fungid corals, and stomatopods) and habitat diversity
- Oceanography (currents)
There is considerable overlap between the boundaries of the Coral Triangle that are based primarily on high coral biodiversity (more than 500 species), and the boundaries based on the area of greatest biodiversity for coral reef fishes.
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