The growth of colonial scleractinian corals involves asexual division of the tissues, and this in turn involves growth and modification of the skeleton. In certain types of colonies, the amount of skeletal growth required by asexual division of the tissues will vary with the size and
shape of the colony. Functional aspects of colony type are discussed in relation to this requirement. Tissue growth and skeletal growth in hermatypic scleractinians are likely to be affected respectively by the availability of food and the ambient light intensity. Asexual division may thus
be influenced by the relative amounts of food and light a colony receives. The manner in which these independent environmental factors may affect growth and morphology in colonial scleractinians is discussed.
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