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Christmas Colors : Colormorph Distribution of Spirobranchus Giganteus Pallas 1766 on Moorea, French Polynesia

  • Author(s): Song, Daniel S.
  • et al.
Abstract

Spirobranchus giganteus Pallas 1766 is an obligate associate of coral. This study focused on the distribution of five branchial crown colormorphs (Blue, Brown, Marigold, Purple, and White) on eight coral species (Acropora I, Acropora II, Porites I, Porites II, Porites III, Porites IV, Porites V, Porites VI) by quadrat sampling method. White was the most abundant colormorph, representing 24.0% of the total. Blue was the least abundant colormorph at 9.5% of the total. There were no significant differences in Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index (H’) of colormorphs between coral species. Also, relative colormorph abundance did not differ significantly between coral species or between the Front and Back positions. Only Blue and Marigold differed significantly in relative abundance between Top, Midde, and Bottom positions. Findings support a colormorph distribution of colormorphs. There are two possible explanations: 1) mortality and selection effects on distribution and 2) phenotypic plasticity, a combination of genetic and environmental factors contributing to the occurrence of certain phenotypes.

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