The number of epithecal (external) growth lines was surveyed over 124 days for Montastrea annularis growing at different depths (3.5 m to 61 m). There was a significant (P< .01) decrease in the number of lines with depth. Although the linear regression is significant, there is evidence for a logarithmic or quadratic relationship, and more data from greater depths are needed to determine which of these gives a better fit.

The number of growth lines formed during light-dark cycles of 16, 24 and 32 hours were compared for M. annularis, M. cavernosa, Porites astreoides and Tubastrea aurea. The variability among colonies from the same species was in many cases more significant than that among light treatments. This is a serious problem for anyone counting lines in corals, especially from a few specimens; therefore conclusions based on such counts seem hazardous on fossil corals for which the environmental factors are unknown.

For M. annularis, the number of lines increased with the frequency of the light cycle.

When tested under bright and dim light conditions, linear growth was depended on the amount of light, but unaffected by light-dark periodicity. Results for the other species were not conclusive, possibly due to smaller sample size.

Opening and closing of the polyps was related to the light vs. dark phase of the light cycle, but appeared unaffected by a change in length of the cycle.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Ariel A. Roth

Second Advisor

Leonard R. Bullas

Third Advisor

Conrad D. Clausen

Fourth Advisor

Elwood S. McCluskey

Fifth Advisor

Paul Y. Yahiku

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Corals -- Growth; Corals; Fossil; Geological time



Page Count

ix; 164

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives