Gattuso J.-P., Pichon M. & Jaubert J., 1991. Physiology and taxonomy of scleractinian corals: a case study in the genus Stylophora. Coral Reefs 9: 173-182.


The morphology and skeletal characteristics of colonies of the coral genus Stylophora living on the reef edge at 1 m depth on the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) are those of S. mordax (Dana 1846) which has not been reported previously from that area. These colonies were considered earlier as ecomorphs of S. pistillata (Esper 1797) which lives down to at least 67 m on the reef slopes. Growth, organic content and metabolism were compared in colonies living at different depths (1, 5, 10 and 30 m). The trends of twelve parameters between 1 and 5 m were different from the variation observed between 5 and 30 m. Colonies living at 1 m have a higher chlorophyll content but a lower metabolic activity and growth rate than colonies living at 5 m. Most of these pecularities cannot be explained by the influence of environmental factors. It is therefore suggested that S. mordax is a valid taxon.

Last modified: 20/12/05 at 16:15 by Jean-Pierre Gattuso
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