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Mucus Production by Corals Exposed during an Extreme Low Tide

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Title:Mucus Production by Corals Exposed during an Extreme Low Tide
Authors:Krupp, David A.
Date Issued:Jan 1984
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Krupp DA. 1984. Mucus production by corals exposed during an extreme low tide. Pac Sci 38(1): 1-11.
Abstract:An extreme low tide resulted in the severe exposure of corals on
the reef flat surrounding Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. The
exposed corals produced vast quantities of mucus that aggregated as mucous
ropes near the shoreline. These mucous ropes were heavily laden with carbonate
sediments, amorphous materials, microflora, and microfauna. Compared to the
purified liquid mucus of the coral Fungia scutaria, the consolidated mucous
ropes were rich in organic material and phosphorus. Pure mucus was relatively
low in trophic quality. While the pure mucus may provide corals with some
protection against dessication, it is not a particularly rich food source for
reef heterotrophs. Perhaps the most important role of coral mucus is the consolidation
of microscopic organic particulates into macroscopic aggregates of
considerably higher trophic quality than the pure mucus itself.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 38, Number 1, 1984

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