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1 December 2011 Morphological Plasticity in the Reef Zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum as an Adaptive Strategy
Diego L. Costa, Paula B. Gomes, Andre M. Santos, Natália S. Valença, Natália A. Vieira, Carlos D. Pérez
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Abstract

We compared morphology of Palythoa caribaeorum (number of polyps, area, diameter and height) occupying three sites located at different distances from a harbor area and with different environmental conditions, such as sedimentation. Seasonality was also considered by comparing morphology during the wet and dry seasons. GLM analyses showed significant main and first-order interaction effects between sites and seasons for each of the four morphological variables measured. Only at the site directly in front of the harbor area there was no seasonal variation. At the other two sites, no significant differences were found when the average pairwise distance of each morphological character was compared between seasons for each site. This indicates that these characters vary in a similar way and suggests growth conditions intrinsic to the species. Environmental homogeneity at the harbor area seems to promote homogeneous morphometry, which indicates different biological strategies and suggests that this species adapts to distinct environments.

© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2011
Diego L. Costa, Paula B. Gomes, Andre M. Santos, Natália S. Valença, Natália A. Vieira, and Carlos D. Pérez "Morphological Plasticity in the Reef Zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum as an Adaptive Strategy," Annales Zoologici Fennici 48(6), 349-358, (1 December 2011). https://doi.org/10.5735/086.048.0602
Received: 3 August 2010; Accepted: 1 August 2011; Published: 1 December 2011
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