Species-specific growth responses of favositid corals to soft-bottom substrates

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Abstract

Gibson, Michael A. & Broadhead, Thomas W. 1989 07 15: Species-specific growth responses of favositid corals to soft-bottom substrates. Lethaia, Vol. 22, pp. 287–299. Oslo. ISSN 0024–1164.

Species of favositid corals from the Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian of Tennessee, USA, exhibit structural modifications related to corallum geometry, interfacial skeletal material, and biotic associations that enabled them to survive in terrigenous mud rich environments. Favosites conicus Hall (Lower Devonian) had a flat, holotheca-covered base and a radial pattern of colony growth, but apparently had a short life span and may not have survived beyond the first reproductive cycle (monocarpous). It was adapted for living between major episodes of terrigenous mud influx. F. foerstei (Lower Devonian) had a convex, pseudoholotheca-covered base and a modified axial pattern of colony growth. Its large size, in comparison to that of F. conicus, suggests a longer lived colony (polycarpous), in which continued upward and outward growth enabled it to survive episodic sediment influx. F. forbesi (Upper Silurian) exhibited radial growth to form either (1) a globose corallum that was symbiotic with the stalks of living crinoids permitting the colony to live entirely above the substrate, or (2) a Gorallum with a steeply convex, holotheca-covered base that represents a bottom-dwelling colony in which the rate of growth probably only slightly exceeded the rate of sediment accumulation. *Functional morphology, astogeny, paleoecology, Tabulata.

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