GROWTH OF THE CORAL ACROPORA PAIMATA (LAMARCK, 1886) IN THE CORALES DEL ROSARIO NATIONAL NATURAL PARK, COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN
The growth rate in ten months (September 1992 - july 1993) for 30 colonies of Acropora palmata along the northern zone of the Corales del Rosario national natural park, Colombian Caribbean, was determined. Three measuring techniques were used: by hand, by staining with alizarin red, and from growth bands by X ray photography. The annual growth estimate for the species in the Park was 5.2 ± 1.3 cm and was found inversely correlated to the size of the colony (lenght, width and height). The growth presented a spatial variation. The smallest growth was found at Caleta Island and the largest at Caribaru Island. The maximum growth rate was observed in the dry season (December-February). No significant differences were found between measurement by hand and by alizarin red. The X-ray technique showed that Acropora palmata does not present discernible annual growth bands.
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