[Coral-List] Diurnal adaptations of coral polyps?

Stuart Humphries s.humphries at hull.ac.uk
Thu Jun 4 15:35:42 EDT 2009


Tentacle expansion during the day isn¹t that unusual, but still hasn¹t been
satisfactorily explained. It seems to vary both within and between species,
and between regions.

Some references to get you started:

Levy et al. Diurnal polyp expansion behavior in stony corals may enhance
carbon availability for symbionts photosynthesis. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol (2006)
vol. 333 pp. 1-11

Porter. Autotrophy, heterotrophy, and resource partitioning in Caribbean
reef-building corals. Am Nat (1976) vol. 110 (975) pp. 731-742

Sebens and DeRiemer. Diel cycles of expansion and contraction in coral reef
anthozoans. Mar Biol (1977) vol. 43 pp. 247-256

Good luck with your project!


> Hello all,
> Last February (2008), I noticed while diving off Koh Tao, Thailand and the
> Maldives that many corals - stony as well as Gorgonian - had their tentacles
> extended during the day, something I've never seen while diving in the Keys or
> Bahamas. Is this normal for some species? For this region? I have always
> understood corals to be nocturnal feeders, keeping their tentacles retracted
> to allow the zooxanthellae to photosynthesize during the day and extending
> them to feed at night.
> I am taking a coral reef ecology course through my Masters program in August
> and would like to address this as my research topic, but I have been
> unsuccessful in finding explanations of this behavior. Insight or direction to
> sources of information would be greatly appreciated.
> Best,
> Erin Sams
> samsee at alumni.hiram.edu


Dr Stuart Humphries
NERC Advanced Research Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Hull

+44 (0)1482 466425

-------------- next part --------------
An embedded and charset-unspecified text was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Url: http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/pipermail/coral-list/attachments/20090604/2f575a6f/attachment.pl 

More information about the Coral-List mailing list