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thesis / dissertation description
The annual growth rate of the solitary coral Fungia scutaria Lamarck was determined by observed increases in skeletal length and width. Growth was followed for periods varying from 7.5 to 9.0 months during 1963 and 1964. Measurements were made in situ at the center of fungid distribution in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, where there exists an aggregation of Fungia which is atypically dense for the Hawaiian Islands. Although this bay provides a relatively optimal environment for the growth of Fungia, as demonstrated by their abundance and increased rate of growth, variations in growth rate is apparently as erratic here as in other areas. Growth curves, constructed for various arbitrarily selected size-classes of Fungia, confirm earlier observations of greater rates of skeletal growth in the smaller corals. The results of this study indicate the necessity of basing reliable estimates of coral growth rate upon an adequate sampling, taking into account the past history and size of the corals measured.