C. Mark Eakin mark.eakin at
Mon Mar 18 13:30:38 EST 2002

People have also used wax and dye dip methods that assume that the amount of
material retained on the skeleton is a reasonable estimate of surface area.
In the former, the wax adhering to the skeleton is melted back off and
weighed.  In the latter, the dye is suspended in a known volume of sovlent
and tested colorometrically.  There are also photographic techniques that
might be applicable, but could be difficult to apply to P. damicornis.  See
the following:

Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (1988). "A method for determining the surface area of
corals." Coral Reefs 7(3): 113-116.

Ben-Zion, M., Y. Achituv, et al. (1991). "A photographic, computerized
method for measurements of surface area in Millepora." Symbiosis 10:

"M.G. Visram" wrote:

> Dear coral listers, Does anyone know of an accurate and reliable method
> for estimating the areal density of zooxanthellae in Pocillopora
> damicornis besides the use of tin-foil paper, which I find neither acurate
> nor practical for this species due to the thin and intricate branching
> nature of the skeleton. many thanks, Shakil Visram

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Chief of NOAA Paleoclimatology Program and
Director of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology

NOAA/National Geophysical Data Center
325 Broadway E/GC
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Voice: 303-497-6172                  Fax: 303-497-6513
Internet: mark.eakin at

  C. Mark Eakin <mark.eakin at>
  Chief and Director of World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
  Paleoclimatology Program

  C. Mark Eakin
  Chief and Director of World Data Center for  <mark.eakin at>
  Paleoclimatology Program
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