Article

Coral Reefs

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 133-138

First online:

Light-dependence in scleractinian distribution in the sublittoral zone of South China Sea Islands

  • E. A. TitlyanovAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, USSR Academy of Sciences
  • , Y. Y. LatypovAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, USSR Academy of Sciences

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Abstract

The distribution of 64 reef-building scleractinian species was studied in turbid waters of the South China Sea. The depth limit of scleractinian distribution in the Gulf of Siam is 18–20 m with 8–2% of incident surface irradiance, which is close to the lower light limit of most corals containing zooxanthellae. Forty percent of the scleractinian species studied inhabit the entire depth range with 70–30% of incident surface irradiance. No specific “grotto” species were identified even in sites of extreme shading, though only explanate plate, corymbose and encrusting colonies were found in low light levels.