Morphology and Ecological Physiology of Corals
Many important properties of coral reef ecosystems are closely connected with the morphological and functional characteristics of the corals themselves, as dominant inhabitants of their bottom biotopes. Among these properties there could be mentioned the adaptive variability of corals, their endosymbiosis with algae, and their ability for autotrophic feeding coupled with heterotrophy. Below the most important points of the ecological morphology and physiology of corals are discussed. The anatomy of polyps and the morphology of corallites and of coral colonies have been described in corresponding reviews, and we will deal with them only in part if necessary Among these reviews should be mentioned: Hyman (1940), Bayer (1973), Coates and Oliver (1973), Mariscal (1974), Preobrazhenski (1986), and Sokolov (1987).
KeywordsReef Slope Scleractinian Coral Coral Coloni Light Adaptation Ecological Physiology
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