Morphology and Habitat of Five Fijian Sea Fans
Fan-shaped colonies of octocorals, growing on a fringing reef offshore Viti Levu, Fiji, were studied both alive at the reef habitat using SCUBA equipment, and preserved, in the laboratory. The sea fans were found in surge-protected locations, but in zones of some current due to tidal flow. Sea fans grew with the plane of the fan oriented perpendicular to the current directions. Five common species were selected for morphological studies. They differed in spatial arrangement of branches, branch diameter, branch separation, polyp size, and polyp arrangement. The structure of the axial skeletons was chemically and morphologically diverse in the five species, and conferred different passive mechanical behavior on the colonies stressed by currents. Axial skeletons are described histologically and sclerites are illustrated with scanning electron micrographs.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1977-04-01
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