, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 323-328
Date: 12 Mar 2004

Flesh or bone? Quantifying small-scale coral morphology using with-tissue and without-tissue techniques

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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.

Communicated by O. Kinne, Oldendorf/Luhe