Measuring Coral Skeletal Architecture Using Image Analysis v1

Andrea G GrottoliRowan Mclachlan


Coral morphology is influenced by genetics, the environment, or the interaction of both, and thus is highly variable. This protocol outlines a non-destructive and relatively simple method for measuring Scleractinian coral sub-corallite skeletal structures (such as the septa length, theca thickness, and corallite diameter, etc.) using digital images produced as a result of digital microscopy or from scanning electron microscopy. This method uses X and Y coordinates of points placed onto photomicrographs to automatically calculate the length and/or diameter of a variety of sub-corallite skeletal structures in the Scleractinian coral Porites lobata. However, this protocol can be easily adapted for other coral species - the only difference may be the specific skeletal structures that are measured (for example, not all coral species have a pronounced columella or pali, or even circular corallites). This protocol is adapted from the methods described in Forsman et al. (2015) & Tisthammer et al. (2018). There are 4 steps to this protocol: 1) Removal of Organic Tissue from Coral Skeletons 2) Imaging of Coral Skeletons 3) Photomicrograph Image Analysis 4) Calculation of Corallite Microstructure Size This protocol was written by Dr. ...Continue Reading

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