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The relation of temperature to calcification in Montepora verrucosa

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Title:The relation of temperature to calcification in Montepora verrucosa
Authors:Cox, Walter W.
Date Issued:Aug 1971
Publisher:Loma Linda University
Citation:Cox, Walter W. The relation of temperature to calcification in Montepora verrucosa. Loma Linda, CA: Loma Linda University, 1971.
Abstract:Reef-building or hermatypic corals are limited in their geographical
distribution to the warmer waters of tropical oceans. Significant
coral growth occurs only in water ranging from 180 C to 330 C, and massive
reefs form only at temperatures toward the upper end of this temperature
range (Wells, 1957).
The coral skeleton is composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate
(CaC03) with the crystalline structure of aragonite; calcite is
completely absent. H. Lowenstam (1954) has suggested that the failure
of corals to produce any calcite may be the factor influencing the
smaller number of scleractinian species in cooler water. Organisms
that can produce both aragonite and calcite tend to produce calcite
during colder seasons and aragonite during warmer seasons. Thus, by
their nature of calcification, corals may physiologically limit their
geographical distribution.
Physiological study of corals began in the early nineteenth century.
Towards the latter part of the century, some work with growth rates of
reef corals was started by Alexander Agassiz (1890). Similar studies
have since been made by others (Abe, 1940; Boschma, 1936; Edmondson,
1929; Kawaguti, 1941; Ma, 1937; Mayor, 1924; Motoda, 1940; Stephenson
and Stephenson, 1933; Tamura and Hada, 1932; and Vaughan, 1919). All
of these stud ies involved the technique of allowing the coral to grow
for long periods, days to years, in its natural environment, with size
and weight measurements being taken at periodic intervals. However,
more recent attempts to estimate growth rates have involved chemical
methods of measuring the incorporation of calcium into the skeleton
under controlled laboratory conditions (Kawaguti and Sakumoto, 1948;
Coreau, 1959; and Goreau and Goreau, 1959, 1960a, 1960b). The present
study employed a procedure involving the incorporation of radioactive
calcium-45 into the coral skeleton to determine the optimum temperature
for calcium deposition in Montipora verrucosa, a common Indo-Pacific
hermatypic sc leractinian. In contrast to previous studies, short periods
of one-half to six hours were used. These shorter periods were
used in order to reduce adverse environmental laboratory conditions.
Pages/Duration:36 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Kaneohe Bay Research

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