Efecto del tamaño de las colonias en el crecimiento de Acropora palmata en Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, México.

Claudia Padilla, Mario Lara


Colony size has been recognized as an imprtant factor that determines the demographic fate of the modular organisms. In the case of the scleractinian corals growth, it has been demonstrated that the lineal extension is independent to the initial size of massive and follaceous colonies (horizintal growth), while the increment by unit area decrease with the colony size. The present study analyzes the size dependent growth of the branching coral Acropora palamata (Lamarck, 1816). Three estimates of growth were obtained: Lineal extension (IA), basal extension (IB) and tissue increment (IT). The IA was 6.8 cm/year, showinga positive correlation with the colony size, at difference to other species with horizontal growth. The IB was independent of the colony size with a rate of 2.3 mm/month; while the IT depends on the size of the colonies, producing on average 200 cm2 of tissue mothly. The relative IT estimation (new produced tissue per unit of area) shows that a colony produces on average a 50% of the initial tissue per year, with a tendency to decrease in accordance with the size of the colony increases, due to the geometric constraints imposed by its morphology and to the frequent loss of tissue in the large colonies.

Palabras clave

Growth; Acropora palmata; colony size

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