Skeletal Organization in Caribbean Acropora Spp. (Lamarck)

  • Brent R. Constantz


The size and morphology of calcium carbonate crystals of the exoskeletons of the Caribbean Scleractinian coral species of the genus Acoropora are described. The fundamental units of the skeleton are the trabeculae, which are linearly aggrading spherulitic fans of polycrystalline aragonite fiber bundles. Each spherulitic fan originates from a center of calcification (Ogilvie, 1896; Wells, 1956) that is composed of packets of submicron calcium carbonate crystals in an amorphous matrix. The nucleating packets appear to have an intracellular origin and their production stimulated by zooxanthellate photosynthesis.


Fiber Bundle White Arrow Black Arrow Calcium Carbonate Crystal Petrographic Thin Section 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brent R. Constantz
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth Sciences BoardUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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