MEPS 146:101-107 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps146101

Effect of lesion size and shape on regeneration of the Red Sea coral Faviafavus

Oren U, Benayahu Y, Loya Y

The present study examined the effect of lesion size and shape on the recovery rates of the scleractinian colonial coral Favia favus. Five tissue lesion types, differing in surface area and perimeter, were artificially inflicted on the upper surface of 46 F. favus colonies in the shallow reef across from the Marine Biology Laboratory of Eilat (Red Sea). The gradual closure of these lesions was monitored monthly from January to March 1995 by underwater photography. Photographs over time were analyzed with a computerized image analyzer, enabling accurate measurements of the emerging tissue. In this study we present the percent recovery of the various lesion types through time and the ratios between the newly formed tissue and the perimeter length (NFT/P) of each specific lesion. These results show for the first time the significant effect of lesion size and shape on the regeneration capability of a colonial coral. We found that the high recovery rates achieved during the first month are regulated mainly by the perimeter length of the lesion, while during the following months recovery is influenced more by the surface area of the lesion and its surface area/perimeter ratio. The various NFT/P ratios recorded in this study indicate that lesions with a relatively long perimeter probably obtain a higher energetic allocation from the colony, probably due to the larger colony portion associated with their recovery.

Lesion shape · Perimeter · Recovery rates · Favia favus · Scleractinian corals · Red Sea

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