Growth Interactions Among Morphological Variants Of The Coral Acropora Palifera
The material presented in this paper is part of a study of the responses of scleractinian corals to natural selection in different habitats and, more generally, of the ecological and genetical structure of coral populations. On the Heron Island reef, near the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, there are at least five distinct forms of corals which I consider all belong to Acropora palifera Lamarck. Each form is most abundant in a particular physical and biological habitat, although all forms occur in low frequencies in most other habitats (Potts, 1976). In an earlier paper (Potts, 1976) I described an experiment in which different forms grew in contact with other corals for three months (March–June 1975). Each coral seemed able to respond in several ways depending on the identity of its neighbour. The present paper describes the subsequent history of that experiment (to March 1976) and examines relatively long-term interactions which may influence the partitioning of space within coral communities.
KeywordsGreat Barrier Reef Patch Reef Scleractinian Coral Basal Disc Nervous Connection
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