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Skeletal morphogenesis and growth mode of modern and fossil deep-water isidid gorgonians (Octocorallia) in the West Pacific (New Zealand and Sea of Okhotsk)
NOE S. U. ; DULLO W.-Chr.
Fabric and growth mode of deep-water isidid gorgonian skeletons showing bright Mg-calcitic internodes and dark proteinageous nodes were investigated on modern, subrecent and fossil skeletons. The internodial microstructure is characterised by three-dimensionally interfingering calcitic fascicles accreting around a central axis. Macroscopic colour banding results from varying orientations of organic-rich fascicle bundles and intercalated bands of organic-poor granular crystals. This skeletal structure of isidid gorgonians strikingly differs from the density banding of scleractinians. Radiocarbon dating of a fossil skeleton gave an age of 3,985 ± 35 to 3,680 ± 35 years before present (BP) with a record of 305 ± 35 years (± range). Linear extension rates of 0.4 mm year-1 average allow for an annual to sub-annual resolution on micrometer scale of colour bands or fascicles, respectively. The growth mode of branched skeletons is characterised by simultaneous secretion of vertically alternating nodes/internodes and lateral accretion of concentric increments enveloping the entire skeleton. Bifurcations at various growth stages imply that adjacent branches have different ages and show varying numbers of growth bands at any skeletal cross section. The scleroprotein gorgonin plays a crucial role in the formation of organic nodes and the secretion of calcitic internodes by providing a structural framework in the biomineralisation process.
Springer; Springer
ISSN : 0722-4028 CODEN : CORFDL
Coral reefs (Print) A. 2006, vol. 25, n° 3, pp. 303-320 [18 pages] [bibl. : 1 p.1/2]
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