Inferred calcification rate of a temperate azooxanthellate caryophylliid coral along a wide latitudinal gradient
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- Caroselli, E., Brambilla, V., Ricci, F. et al. Coral Reefs (2016) 35: 919. doi:10.1007/s00338-016-1422-3
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Correlations between environmental parameters (depth temperature and solar radiation) and growth parameters (bulk skeletal density, linear extension rate and net calcification rate) of the solitary azooxanthellate coral, Caryophyllia inornata, were investigated along an 8° latitudinal gradient on the western Italian coasts. Net calcification rate correlated positively with both bulk skeletal density and linear extension rate, showing that C. inornata allocates calcification resources evenly to thickening the skeleton and increasing linear growth. Overall, the three growth parameters did not follow gradients in the two environmental parameters, showing a different trend compared to most studies on zooxanthellate corals. However, the results are in agreement with the only previous analysis of an azooxanthellate coral, Leptopsammia pruvoti, studied along the same latitudinal gradient. In a comparison of the response to temperature of all Mediterranean species whose growth has been investigated to date, azooxanthellate corals were more tolerant to temperature increases than zooxanthellate corals.