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Identifying AGRRA Corals: Part 3 Plates and Other Agariciids Judith Lang and Kenneth Marks Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Program Revision:

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Presentation on theme: "Identifying AGRRA Corals: Part 3 Plates and Other Agariciids Judith Lang and Kenneth Marks Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Program Revision:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying AGRRA Corals: Part 3 Plates and Other Agariciids Judith Lang and Kenneth Marks Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Program Revision:

2 The following images are Copyright © by New World Publications and by other photographers. Permission is granted to use the photographs and slides in this presentation with the AGRRA Program and, with attribution, for other valid educational purposes.. All other uses are strictly prohibited. For images used in Part 3, our special thanks to: P. Humann, M. Nugues, Rotterdam Zoo, C. Sheppard, R. Steneck, G. van Moorsel (ecosub.nl), M. Vermeij

3 Adapted from P.R. Kramer Colony shape – massive (= mound, columnar, heavy plates), crust, plate, branching Colony size range – small to big Colony surface – bumpy, smooth, ridged Polyp size – small to big Polyp shape – round, elliptical, irregular, Y-shaped, meandroid (= short or long ridges and valleys) Polyp colour – brown, tan, yellow, olive, green, red Septal shape – fat, thin; smooth, toothed Reminder: What to Look for Underwater

4 The stony corals illustrated here are limited to species that are found in the wider Caribbean at depths (<20 m) that are typical of most AGRRA surveys. The names of some corals are changing as a result of modern research. Expect updates! For each species: (number in m and ft = maximum colony size) Reminder: AGRRA Coral Species

5 Reminder: Coding Corals in AGRRA Surveys Use the CARICOMP-based coral codes. The coral code for a genus is the first 4 letters of its genus name. ACRO = Acropora Use the genus code whenever you are unsure of a coral’s species identity. The coral code for a species is the first letter of the genus name followed by the first 3 letters of its species name. APAL = Acropora palmata

6 © K. Marks Agariciid Corals polyps are small; meandroid* Helioseris thick, sharp ridges Agaricia thick, round ridges Undaria thin, sharp ridges unifacial and platy only narrow valleys are short and/or long unifacial or bifacial platy or massive wide, shallow, long valleys short valleys or individual polyps * meandroid = polyp mouths in valleys, between ridges

7 * Undaria agaricites UAGA* small polyps in long rows or short reticulations pointed ridge tops fluorescent yellow-orange morph *Species of Undaria were grouped with Agaricia for many decades.

8 Undaria agaricites UAGA examples of variation in shape: unifacial - crusts, plates, low mounds bifacial - mounds with keels or thick lobes (to ~ 1 m/3 ft)

9 many colonies may settle and grow close together Undaria agaricites UAGA

10 Undaria tenuifolia UTEN thin, vertical keels are elongate or dissected small polyps with some reticulations large (to ~ 4 m/12 ft)

11 Undaria tenuifolia UTEN How differs from keeled U. agaricites: much thinner keels, much larger colonies

12 U. agaricites U. tenuifolia UAGA UTEN Which is Which?

13 tiny, densely packed, polyps with deep centers reticulate ridges have pointed tips small crusts (to ~ 12 cm/5 in) Undaria humilis UHUM

14 How differs from U. agaricites: polyps are smaller, more densely packed, have deeper centers crusts don’t develop platy edges smaller adult colonies Undaria humilis UHUM

15 U. agaricites U. humilis UAGA UHUM Which is Which?

16 Agaricia fragilis AFRA tiny polyps with low ridges in long rows that are sometimes contorted and have relatively few, if any, reticulations can have bright colours and/or polyps that lack zooxanthellae thin plates (to ~ 15 cm/6 in)

17 expanded polyps contracted polyps Polyps may be sunken and appear constricted Agaricia fragilis AFRA

18 How differs from U. humilis and U. agaricites: thicker ridges have few, if any, reticulations thinner skeletons + from platy U. agaricites: smaller polyps Agaricia fragilis AFRA

19 A. fragilis U. agaricites U. humilis AFRA UAGA UHUM Which is Which?

20 polyps with conspicuous mouths in long rows or shorter reticulations thick ridges with broad, rounded or somewhat pointed tops thick, heavy plates (to ~ 2 m/6 ft) Agaricia lamarcki ALAM

21 How differs from A. fragilis and platy U. agaricites: larger polyps larger, thicker and denser skeletons + from U. agaricites: polyp mouths more distinct

22 A. lamarcki U. agaricites ALAMUAGA Which is Which?

23 * Helioseris cucullata HCUC* polyp mouths below the steep, outward-facing sides of thick ridges conspicuous septa very thin plates (to ~ 2 m/6 ft) * Helioseris was grouped with Leptoseris for several decades.

24 Helioseris cucullata HCUC In deeper water, might be confused with Agaricia undata (which has smaller, straighter ridges; see Humann p. 142).

25 Helioseris cucullata HCUC How differs from A. fragilis: larger polyps higher ridges + from platy U. agaricites: polyp mouths at bases of steep, outward-facing sides of thick ridges thinner plates

26 H. cucullata U. agaricites HCUC UAGA Which is Which?

27 A. fragilis H. cucullata AFRA HCUC Which is Which?


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