Marine Biology

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 29-39

First online:

Zonation of corals (Scleractinia: Coelenterata) on intertidal reef flats at Ko Phuket, Eastern Indian Ocean

  • H. DitlevAffiliated withPhuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC)Institute of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus

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The intertidal zonation on sheltered reef flats at Ko Phuket is described, with the emphasis on the vertical zonation in relation to tolerance to emergence. Zonation is compared to that on reef flats described in the literature. Factors limiting vertical growth are discussed. A terminology is proposed for the description of intertidal reef flats, following the system of associations developed for subtidal reefs. It is shown that intertidal coral growth is best developed on sheltered places around larger, high islands and on continental coasts; that coincidence of extreme low tide and maximum insolation is a major limiting factor; and that rain during emersion is not necessarily fatal for coral growth.