An overview of the characteristics of corals

All but five species of the far eastern Pacific occur in the central Pacific suggesting that a wide variety of taxa are capable of very long distance dispersal. This dendrogram was produced from selection of relevant ecoregions.

There is no reef development in high latitude ecoregions, described below.

Phyla Cnidaria and Ctenophora

Two points of general concern remain that seriously affect the data quality of all recent coral biogeographic publications. The northern and southern Seychelles have substantially different faunas to each-other as they are dominated by fringing reefs of continental islands and atolls, respectively.

Coral affinities of all tropical Australian reefs are sharply differentiated from the Coral Triangle, the separation being due to the shallow turbid water as well as the strong tidal regimes of the Timor Sea. Obura has revisited this subject using a fine data grid of surveyed locations south of the Red Sea.

Harriott and Banks give a useful analysis of latitudinal variation of eastern Australian corals, which remains relevant with updated records from this study. As previously noted, inventories of remote island groups are likely to remain dissimilar as all are isolated and there are significant taxonomic issues with many species.

Of the latter, the coral fauna of the Java Sea numbered 5 and the Sunda Shelf numbered 4 is very similar to those of the Coral Triangle. This is the Indian Ocean centre of diversity which most of the historic contour maps mentioned above vaguely indicated. Most species of corals show this; it underpins reticulate evolution and the morphological, genetic and geographic fuzziness this concept embraces.

Overview of Coral Distributions

These ecoregions have been well studied and form a depauperate highly isolated group totalling 72 species and hosting regional endemics, see below.

Number of confirmed and strongly predicted Indo-Pacific species in ecoregions. It is now a separate colony, though it is genetically identical clone of its "parent".

Phyla Cnidaria and Ctenophora

Thus, of the species found in the Red Sea, occur elsewhere; the remainder are endemics. It should come as no surprise, then, that they also have more than one way to reproduce.

As there has been an extensive array of original publications and reviews about these ecoregions see Introduction and below only discussion of new broad-scale findings are noted here.

Others are insightful and detailed, reflecting substantial original work. Central Indo-Pacific The coral fauna of Australia, the Coral Triangle and Japan has been studied in detail and has been at the core much of the original fieldwork supporting this overview.

This region, delineated by Veron et al. Most such occurrences are likely to reflect relict distributions; others may be due to recent dispersion or missing records. Click to view full size image Global pattern of affinity truncated at the highest 22 divisions in order to provide clarity.

The data used in the latter studies have been shared with us, see Acknowledgements. Two ecoregions on the south-east African coast numbered 1 and 2two in the northern gulfs numbered 21 and 24 and those on or near the coast of India numbered 19, 20, 24 and 25 have relatively low diversities.

Note a that excluded ecoregions coloured pale blue are included in relevant regional diagrams below and b that the similarity scale indicates the position of nodes only. It should be noted that the four highest levels of endemism within the Coral Triangle may reflect the amount of fieldwork that these areas have received.

Hong Kong is very depauperate and the Japanese locations are peripheral to the core of the Kuroshio. Affinities of ecoregions in and adjacent to the Coral Triangle. Click to view full size image Latitudinal attenuation of affinity and diversity of ecoregions along the path of, or under the influence of, the East Australian Current.

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At overview level, the Red Sea with 7 endemics, or 2. This dendrogram was produced by the progressive exclusion of outlying ecoregions; there were no internal exclusions. The reefs of the east Somali coast are poorly known; most records used in our analysis being predicted, not confirmed see Methods although a repeat analysis with lesser constraints on predictions does not change the pattern of affinity shown here.

Corals can also reproduce sexually. More recently Stylophora kuehlmanni Scheer and Pillai, and less convincingly Stylophora danae Milne Edwards and Haime, have all been reported in the Philippines Licuanan and Capilli,species previously known only in the western Indian Ocean where they are distinctive.

These numbered ecoregions have been well studied and form a highly distinctive group. Amphitropical distrubutions These are disjunct distributions where species occur sub-tropically both sides of the tropics.

They may also reflect sampling effort within the Coral Triangle. The corals of the west Australian coast have a marginally lesser affinity with the Coral Triangle than those of the northern Great Barrier. Global diversity indicated by all records of occurrences. It is now common to see two maps of the same species being compared for example by Brainard et al.

Overview of Coral Distributions

On a broader scale, the Coral Triangle, with species in total, is only weakly delineated from surrounding ecoregions as Veron et al.Overview of Coral Distributions. The taxonomy and distribution patterns of Caribbean corals are relatively straightforward.

This overview is not intended to address this deterioration nor review future prognoses, but rather to provide a biogeographic template for investigating the process. The coral reefs attract algae, which aid coral by producing food.

In turn, the algae receive shelter by the coral. Living corals and algae form closest to the water's surface on top of older, deceased corals. The Trachyphyllia Brain Coral is also referred to as a Folded Brain, or Crater Coral and is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral. It may have a folded, or figure-eight shape.

It may have a folded, or figure-eight shape. Overview. The Pencil Urchin of It is extremely difficult to breed in an aquarium and has no distinguishing characteristics to help differentiate it from its mate. It should be offered dried seaweed and some animal-based supplemental foods. Certified Captive Grown Corals.

An overview of reef characteristics. This is part 2 of the essay about coral reefs. Tropical coral reefs occupy about 0,17% of the total area of the planet.

Phylum Cnidaria- Jellyfish, corals, anemones, hydra, etc. Cnidarian Characteristics There are approximately 10, species of Cnidaria world wide, most of which are marine. Radial symmetry 2 forms- a sessile polyp stage and a free-swimming medusa stage A polyp adheres to the substrate by the aboral end of its body A medusa has a bell-shaped body.

An overview of the characteristics of corals
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