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Brief Summary

provided by EOL authors
Pavona cactus, common name lettuce coral, is a species of coral with many ridges and grooves in which polyps live. This species looks leafy, like a head of lettuce.

Pavona cactus

provided by wikipedia EN

Pavona cactus, the cactus coral, potato chip coral or leaf coral, is a species of colonial stony coral in the family Agariciidae. This coral is found in shallow waters on reefs and in lagoons in tropical parts of the Indo-Pacific region.

Description

Colonies of this species have vertical, irregular, two-sided fronds about 5 cm (2 in) tall and not more than 5 mm (0.2 in) thick. The corallites housing the polyps are very shallow and form widely separated rows parallel to the margins of the fronds. The bases of these fronds may be dead while the upper parts are still alive supported by the skeletal tissue below. The fronds may be clustered together in a supercolony formed from one or more individual colonies and extending for several metres (yards) across the seabed.[2] This is a zooxanthellate species of coral, with symbiotic microscopic algae living in its tissues. It is an olive green or a brownish colour.[3]

Distribution

Pavona cactus is found in the tropical Indo-Pacific, its range extending from the Red Sea and East African coast to Japan, Tahiti and Australia.[3] It is found in turbid but calm waters, on upper reef slopes and in shallow lagoons[2] at depths down to 40 metres (130 ft).[4]

Biology

The polyps of Pavona cactus extend their tentacles at night to catch plankton. They also benefit and obtain nourishment from the intracellular zooxathellae. These use energy from the sun to turn simple substances into complex carbohydrates and the coral makes use of the surplus nutrients. The algae benefit from being in a protected, well-lit environment well clear of the seabed and by receiving nitrogenous waste from the coral.[5]

Pavona cactus can reproduce sexually or asexually. In sexual reproduction, gametes are released into the sea where fertilisation takes place. The egg hatches into a free-swimming planula larva that settles on the seabed when it has completed its development. Here it undergoes metamorphosis to become a coral polyp which buds repeatedly to start a new colony.[5] Another method by which colonies may increase in number is by fragmentation. If a bit of coral that has broken off a parent colony becomes wedged in a suitable position, it can continue to grow and reproduce by budding to form a new colony.[3]

Status

Although this coral is common and has a wide range, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists this species in its Red List of Threatened Species as being "Vulnerable".[4] Under adverse conditions, such as a rise in sea temperature, this coral may expel its zooxanthellae and become bleached. It is then much more susceptible to disease. Coral reefs in general are under threat from a decline in the quality of the habitat through mechanical damage, pollution, sedimentation, ocean acidification and global warming and Pavona cactus faces another threat in that it is collected for the aquarium trade.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Hoeksema, B.; Rogers, A.; Quibilan, M. (2008). "Pavona cactus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-12.old-form url
  2. ^ a b c d van der Land, Jacob (2012). "Pavona cactus (Forsskål, 1775)". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  3. ^ a b c "Pavona coral (Pavona cactus)". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  4. ^ a b "Pavona cactus (Forsskål, 1775)". SeaLifeBase. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  5. ^ a b Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. pp. 135–136. ISBN 81-315-0104-3.
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Pavona cactus: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Pavona cactus, the cactus coral, potato chip coral or leaf coral, is a species of colonial stony coral in the family Agariciidae. This coral is found in shallow waters on reefs and in lagoons in tropical parts of the Indo-Pacific region.

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Biology

provided by World Register of Marine Species
zooxanthellate
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bibliographic citation
Veron, J. E. N. (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. <em>Angus & Robertson Publishers.</em> Veron, J. E. N. (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. <em>Angus & Robertson Publishers.</em> van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO).
Contributor
Jacob van der Land [email]

Description

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Colonies are a mass of small, vertical and irregular leaves, each being no more than a few cm tall. Leaves are always thin, not more than 4-5 mm thick, and the basal parts of a high proportion of leaves are dead and sometimes actually detached from the jumble of older fronds of the colony. Septa are less than 1 mm diameter and lie flush with the surface of the leaf. They run in rows parallel to the edge of the leaf. Rows are separated by 3 or 4 mm. The species is mostly found in sheltered and lagoonal areas where it is usually very common. It tolerates sediment well, and reaches its greatest abundance and colony size between 3 - 10 m deep in calm areas. There, "supercolonies" are frequently encountered. These are growths of the same species from one or more original colonies, which have detached and spread over wide areas. Thus Pavona cactus may provide about 75% cover, for example, over 10 square metres or more (Sheppard, 1998). Colonies are thin, contorted, bifacial, upright fronds with or without thickened branching bases. Corallites are fine and shallow, and aligned in irregular rows parallel to the margins. Colour: pale brown or greenish-brown. Abundance: Abundant in some lagoons and on upper reef slopes, especially those of fringing reefs, and in turbid water protected from wave action, where colonies frequently exceed 10 m in diameter (Veron (1986)). Tropical Indo-Pacific in Kalk (1958).
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WoRMS Editorial Board
bibliographic citation
Veron, J. E. N. (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. <em>Angus & Robertson Publishers.</em> Veron, J. E. N. (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. <em>Angus & Robertson Publishers.</em> van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO).
Contributor
Edward Vanden Berghe [email]