Long-term growth rates of four Mediterranean cold-water coral species maintained in aquaria
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AuthorsOrejas, C. (Covadonga); Ferrier-Pagès, C. (Christine); Reynaud, S. (Stéphanie); Gori, A. (Andrea); Beraud E. (Eric); Tsounis, G. (Georgios); Allemand, D. (Denis); Gili, J.M. (Josep Maria)
Growth rates of the cold-water corals (CWC) Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa, Desmophyllum dianthus and Dendrophyllia cornigera were measured over 8 mo under controlled conditions (12°C in the dark, fed 5 times a week) by means of the buoyant weight technique. Additionally, linear growth rates were measured in M. oculata and L. pertusa for 2 and 1 yr, respectively. The weight measurements revealed growth rates, expressed as percent growth per day (mean ± SD), of 0.11 ± 0.04 for M. oculata, 0.02 ± 0.01 for L. pertusa, 0.06 ± 0.03 for D. dianthus and 0.04 ± 0.02 % d–1 for D. cornigera. Growth in M. oculata was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) than in the other 3 CWC species. For M. oculata and L. pertusa, also linear growth was recorded. These values (mean ± SD) were 0.014 ± 0.007 and 0.024 ± 0.018 mm d–1 for M. oculata and L. pertusa, respectively. This is the first study that compares the growth rates of 4 different CWC species under the same experimental conditions of water flow, ...