Spatial variation in porosity and skeletal element characteristics in apical tips of the branching coral Acropora pulchra (Brook 1891)
- 317 Downloads
Micro-CT scanning techniques were used to investigate fine-scale variation in porosity along branch tips of Acropora pulchra. Porosity variation is a result of progressive thickening of skeletal elements away from the apical tip of branches, rather than changes in the spacing of skeletal elements. A linear fit was found to describe the relationship between distance along the tip and both porosity and skeletal thickness. The slope of the line obtained may relate to branch extension rates and allow retrospective data to be obtained from Acropora specimens. Skeletal morphology examined by 2D and 3D imaging shows a progressive gradation in thickness occurring in the axial corallite wall and thickness changes at a site of incipient branch formation. The application of the micro-CT technique to museum and fossil specimens is illustrated.
KeywordsAcropora Porosity CT scan Skeletal structure
Support for this research was provided by a UK Natural Environmental Research Council Grant NE/F01077X/1 to CTP and KGJ. Acropora pulchra specimens were collected under GBRMPA research permit number G08/27113.1.
- Bottjer DJ (1980) Branching morphology of the reef coral Acropora cervicornis in different hydraulic regimes. J Paleontol 54:1102–1107Google Scholar
- Chalker BE, Barnes DJ (1990) Gamma densitometry for the measurement of skeletal density Coral Reefs 9:11–23Google Scholar
- Saenger C, Cohen AL, Oppo DW, Halley RB, Carilli JE (2008) Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552. Nature Geoscience. doi: 101038/NGEO552
- Schönberg CHL (2001) Estimating the extent of endolithic tissue of a great barrier reef clionid sponge. Marine Biodiversity 31:29–39Google Scholar
- Wallace CC, Willis BL (1994) Systematics of the coral genus Acropora: implications of new biological findings for species concepts. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 25:237–262Google Scholar