Contribution to Zoology, 75 (3/4) – 2006Adriaan Gittenberger; Bert W. Hoeksema: Phenotypic plasticity revealed by molecular studies on reef corals of Fungia (Cycloseris) spp. (Scleractinia: Fungiidae) near river outlets

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On a patch reef off Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia, corals identified as Fungia (Cycloseris) costulata, Fungia (Cycloseris) tenuis and Fungia (Cycloseris) cf costulata were collected down to a maximum depth of 10 m. The corals lived sympatrically. Mushroom coral clones resulting from fragmentation can be recognized by their equal coloration and close proximity. Therefore, to ensure that no clones were collected, corals of dissimilar colors were selected at a mutual distance of 5 m. The corals were kept alive in two 30 liter sea-water aquariums with an air-pump. They were photographed in detail. Using allozyme electrophoresis in a laboratory close to the field area, it was tested whether the separate coral morphs should be considered three species. Eventually it was concluded that there are only two species, i.e. F. (C.) costulata and F. (C.) tenuis, of which F. (C.) costulata has two distinct morphs, one of which may be an eco-phenotype occurring on reefs off river outlets or inside estuaries.