Skeleton growth and density pattern of the temperate, zooxanthellate scleractinian Cladocora caespitosa from the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean)

Andrea Peirano, Carla Morri, C. Nike Bianchi

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Abstract

X-radiographs of corallites of the zooxanthellate coral Cladocora caespitosa (L.), collected in the Ligurian Sea between 3 and 27 m depth, were examined. C. caespitosa deposits 2 bands yr-1; the high density band is deposited during winter (November to March) while the low density band is deposited in summer. Average growth rates ranged from 1.36 ± 0.58 to 4.42 ± 1.61 mm yr-1. No differences in the timing of band deposition were found between shallow and deep colonies. A comparison of the band pattern with monthly temperature-irradiance measurements from the Ligurian Sea, and with literature data on the photosynthetic efficiency of zooxanthellae, led us to hypothesise a mechanism of growth with a low dependency on autotrophy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195 - 201
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Volume185
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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