Flesh or bone? Quantifying small-scale coral morphology using with-tissue and without-tissue techniques
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- Todd, P.A., Ladle, R.J., Lewin-Koh, N.J.I. et al. Marine Biology (2004) 145: 323. doi:10.1007/s00227-004-1324-8
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The quantification of small-scale coral morphology using tissue-free skeletons often requires colonies, or colony sections, to be removed from the reef. This undesirable destruction can be reduced by using a with-tissue technique based on photographic images of living corals. The results of this study indicate that with-tissue multivariate morphometric data contain similar information to skeleton-derived data and can help identify phenotypic plasticity in the massive coral Favia speciosa. With-tissue data can also be used to discern changes with time in individual polyps exposed to new environments.