Latitudinal gradient of morphological variations in zebra coral Oulastrea crispata (Scleractinia: Faviidae) in the West Pacific

Chen, Kao-Song, Hsieh, Hernyi Justin, Keshavmurthy, Shashank, Leung, Julia Ka Lai, Lien, I-Ting, Nakano, Yoshikatsu, Plathong, Sakanan, Huang, Hui, and Chen, Chaolun Allen (2011) Latitudinal gradient of morphological variations in zebra coral Oulastrea crispata (Scleractinia: Faviidae) in the West Pacific. Zoological Studies, 50 (1). pp. 43-52.

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Corals grow across latitudes throughout the tropics and subtropics where environmental factors, including the average annual temperature and seasonal changes in water clarity and temperature, substantially vary. These environmental factors could lead to latitudinal variations in coral skeletal morphology. In this study, morphometric variations of the zebra coral Oulastrea crispata, a small coral species with black and white septa and a colony diameter usually < 10 cm, were investigated. Previous studies reported that O. crispata can survive in extreme environmental conditions, such as low temperatures and turbid water. One hundred colonies of O. crispata were collected from sites spanning Thailand to Japan, across tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions. Five micro-characters of corallites were measured and examined using univariate and multivariate analyses. All micro-characters measured significantly differed among latitudinal regions (nested ANOVA, p < 0.05). A canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) indicated that corallite diameter was the most important character contributing to variations in O. crispata among the 3 latitudinal regions, although a plot of the 1st and 2nd canonical variables showed that O. crispata from different latitudinal regions could not be fully separated. Nevertheless, significant differences in the Mahalanobis distances between the CDA group centroids were detected, suggesting a latitudinal gradient of morphological variations in O. crispata in the West Pacific.

Item ID: 21705
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1021-5506
Keywords: corallites, latitudinal variation, morphometrics, Oulastrea crispata, scleractinian
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 23:20
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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