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Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis

 

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Staghorn Coral
credit: Joeschmitty /CCSA

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Description The Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is a branching coral with cylindrical branches ranging from a few centimetres to over two metres in length and height. It occurs in back reef and fore reef environments from 0 to 30 m depth. The upper limit is defined by wave forces, and the lower limit is controlled by suspended sediments and light availability. Fore reef zones at intermediate depths (5-25 m) were formerly dominated by extensive single species stands of staghorn coral until the mid 1980s. This coral exhibits the fastest growth of all known western Atlantic fringrcorals, with branches increasing in length by 10-20 cm per year. This has been one of the three most important Caribbean corals in terms of its contribution to reef growth and fishery habitat.

Staghorn coral is found throughout the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands and the Great Barrier Reef. This coral occurs in the western Gulf of Mexico, but is absent from U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as Bermuda and the west coast of South America. The northern limit is on the east coast of Florida, near Boca Raton.


Habitat Coral reefs.


Range Florida.


 

 

 

2007 eNature.com