Annual density banding in massive coral skeletons: result of growth strategies to inhabit reefs with high microborers’ activity?
Porites and Montastraea are the major reef-building massive coral genera in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans, respectively. They are also the most commonly used genera in sclerochronological studies. Despite the marked differences in the way these genera use calcareous material to construct their skeletons (growth strategies) and in their skeletal architectural structure, they form annual high and low density bands in their skeletons, that result from the positive relationship of coral calcification rate with sea surface temperature and seasonal changes of the latter. Evidence in the literature suggests that the different growth strategies allow these organisms to construct denser skeletons far from terrigenous inputs, on reefs where microborers’ activity is high. It seems quite probable that this has consequences for the evolution, diversity, distribution and abundance of reef corals.
KeywordsGreat Barrier Reef Extension Rate Calcification Rate Skeletal Density Inshore Reef
The manuscript was notably improved by the comments of Janice M. Lough, David J. Barnes and one anonymous reviewer. This research was supported by grants from CONACYT (project U48757-F).
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