Free Content

Morphological Variations in the Mediterranean Sea Fan Eunicella Cavolini (Coelenterata: Gorgonacea) in Relation to Exposure, Colony Size and Colony Region

Authors: Weinbauer, Markus G.; Velimirov, Branko

Source: Bulletin of Marine Science, Volume 56, Number 1, January 1995 , pp. 283-295(13)

Publisher: University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Buy & download fulltext article:

Free content The full text is free.

View now:
PDF 767.2kb 

Abstract:

We quantified the phenotypic variation in weight and architectural parameters of fan-like colonies of the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini. For the quantification of the morphological plasticity with fan size, we developed a method for the precise determination of colony size with fan-like growth forms. The cortex mineralization as well as the percentage by weight of the architectural parameters axis, sclerites and organic content increased towards the base of the colonies. Compared to the center the periphery of colonies is characterized by longer, thinner and less ramified branches and by a higher distance between branches (branch distance). With increasing colony size the branch distance increases in the periphery and decreases in the center. This results in more or less constant branch distances (and thus porosity values) at any given fan size. When colonies are getting larger, the end branches in the periphery get longer and less ramified, whereas in the center the branch length increases and ramification density remains constant. Generally, branches become thicker, longer and less ramified, and increase in width becomes more important as colonies increase in size. Because flow velocity increases with the distance from the substratum, the variation in architectural parameters in different regions of a colony and in colonies of different size is probably a morphological adaptation to reduce drag forces. This study corroborates data from the literature showing that colonies from extremely sheltered and very exposed habitats have very porous branching networks with long branches and few ramifications compared to colonies from intermediate habitats, which are characterized by strongly ramified branches with low porosity values. Differential growth and ramification rates were shown to be the major reasons for the variations of growth forms in relation to colony region and colony size. The intensity of water movement is discussed as a potential force influencing growth and ramification rates.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1995

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content

Tools

Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page