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Reef Corals of Fanning Island

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Title:Reef Corals of Fanning Island
Authors:Maragos, J.E.
Date Issued:Jul 1974
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Maragos JE. 1974. Reef corals of Fanning Island. Pac Sci 28(3): 247-255.
Abstract:Recent surveys indicate that the diversity of reef corals at Fanning
Island is greater than previously estimated. Most of the approximately 70 species
belonging to 32 genera and subgenera typically are found in one of three environments.
A turbid lagoon fauna has high abundance but lower diversity of predominantly
branching forms. The clear lagoon coral fauna has both high abundance
and diversity of predominantly massive and encrusting corals. The greatest
number of species and forms of corals are found on the leeward ocean reefs. The
abundance and diversity of corals along windward reef slopes are controlled by
wave action. Although Fanning and others of the Line Islands presently contain
the greatest generic diversity of corals of any island group in the central and
eastern Pacific, diversity is considerably less than that reported for island groups
in the western Pacific. Geographic isolation appears to be the most plausible factor
accounting for reduced coral diversity in the Line Islands. The reef coral fauna is
more nearly comparable with that of island groups south and west than to those of
the north (Hawaii).
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 28, Number 3, 1974

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