Publications:
Majchrzyk et al. 2023


scientific article | Coral Reefs

Different times, similar mechanism? Convergent patterns in light-induced phenotypic plasticity in Devonian and modern corals

Majchrzyk A, Jakubowicz M, Bongaerts P, Zapalski MK


Abstract

Modern scleractinian corals can display high phenotypic plasticity, which reflects an interplay among various environmental controls, such as sediment input, water hydrodynamics or light intensity. In particular, the latter can strongly influence the morphology of coral species living across broad depth gradients. Light intensity was also a factor shaping the colonies of extinct Palaeozoic tabulate corals (Anthozoa: Tabulata). Based on gradual transitions in morphology observed in corals from the Middle Devonian (Givetian stage, ~ 385 Ma) mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) of the Aferdou el Mrakib reef (Anti-Atlas mountains, Morocco) and comparative material originating from different palaeobathymetric and biogeographical settings, we show that Devonian tabulate corals, such as Roseoporella and Alveolites, were characterised by high phenotypic plasticity and the ability to dramatically change their morphology depending on the inferred light conditions. Such a mechanism is similar to that observed in modern scleractinians, e.g. Porites sillimaniana. This recurring morphological theme suggests that Palaeozoic tabulate corals shared many functional characteristics of modern scleractinians.

Keywords
Meta-data (pending validation)

Mesophotic “mentions”
19 x (total of 5040 words)

Classification
* Presents original data
* Focused on 'mesophotic' depth range

Fields
Paleoecology
Ecology

Focusgroups
Scleractinia (Hard Corals)

Locations
Morocco
Poland
Belgium

Platforms
Land-based

Author profiles