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Fire coral

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Fire coral

Fire coral
Millepora dichotoma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Order: Anthomedusae
Family: Milleporidae
Fleming, 1828
Genus: Millepora
Linnaeus, 1758
Diversity
About one dozen species
Fire coral range
Synonyms

Milleporadae (lapsus)

Fire corals are colonial marine organisms that exhibit physical characteristics similar to that of coral. Technically they are not corals, since they are more closely related to Hydra and other hydrozoans. They are members of the phylum Cnidaria, class Hydrozoa, order Capitata, family Milleporidae.

Contents

  • Distinguishing characteristics 1
  • Distribution and habitat 2
  • Biology 3
  • Threats and conservation 4
  • Species 5
  • Further reading 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Distinguishing characteristics

Fire corals have a bright yellow-green and brown skeletal covering and are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters. They appear in small brush-like growths on rocks and coral. Divers often mistake fire coral for seaweed, and accidental contact is common. Upon contact, an intense pain can be felt that can last from two days to two weeks. The very small nematocysts on fire corals contain tentacles that protrude from numerous surface pores (similar to jellyfish stings). In addition, fire corals have a sharp, calcified external skeleton that can scrape the skin.

Fire coral has several common growth forms; these include branching, plate, and encrusting. Branching adopts a calcerious structure which branches off, to rounded, finger-like tips. Plate growth adopts a shape similar to that of the smaller nonsheet lettuce corals - erect, thin sheets, which group together to form a colony. In encrusting growth, the fire coral forms on the calcerious structure of other coral or gorgonian structures.[1]

The gonophores in the family Milleporidae arise from the coenosarc (the hollow living tubes of the upright branching individuals of a colony) within chambers embedded entirely in the coenosteum (the calcareous mass forming the skeleton of a compound coral).

Distribution and habitat

Fire corals are found on reefs in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans and the Caribbean Sea.[2] They form extensive outcrops on projecting parts of the reef where the tidal currents are strong. They are also abundant on upper reef slopes and in lagoons,[3] and occur down to 40 m deep.

Biology

The polyps of fire corals are near microscopic size and are mostly embedded in the skeleton and connected by a network of minute canals. All that is visible on the smooth surface are pores of two sizes: gastropores and dactylopores. In fact, Millepora means ‘thousand pores’. Dactylozooids have long fine hairs that protrude from the skeleton. The hairs possess clusters of stinging cells and capture prey, which is then engulfed by gastrozooids, or feeding polyps, situated within the gastropores. As well as capturing prey, fire corals gain nutrients via their special symbiotic relationship with algae known as zooxanthellae. The zooxanthellae live inside the tissues of the coral, and provide the coral with food, which they produce through photosynthesis, so require sunlight. In return, the coral provides the algae with protection and access to sunlight.[2]

Reproduction in fire corals is more complex than in other reef-building corals. The polyps reproduce

  • Fire coral media at ARKive
  • "Fire Coral Cuts Treatment" at WebMD
  • http://www.emedicinehealth.com/wilderness_fire_coral_cuts/article_em.htm

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Veron, J.E.N. (2000) Corals of the World. Vol. 3. Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Townsville, Australia.
  3. ^ Veron, J.E.N. (1986) Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Angus and Robertson Publishers, UK.
  4. ^ Wood, E.M. (1983) Reef corals of the world: biology and field guide. T.F.H. Publications, New Jersey, USA.
  5. ^ Wilkinson, C. (2004) Status of Coral Reefs of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.
  6. ^ Wilkinson, C. (2004) Status of Coral Reefs around the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.
  7. ^ Gasparini, J.L., Floeter, S.R., Ferreira, C.E.L. and Sazima, I. (2005) Marine ornamental trade in Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14: 2883 - 2899.
  8. ^ CITES: Appendices I, II and III Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  9. ^
return p

end

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

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-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


This article incorporates text from the ARKive fact-file "Fire coral" under the and the .

References

Further reading

Thirteen species of Millepora are currently recognised:[9]

Species

Fire corals are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).[8]

Most fire coral species have brittle skeletons that can easily be broken, for example, during storms, or by divers when diving for leisure, or when collecting fish for the aquarium trade. For instance, the yellowtail damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema) tends to dwell close to the branching fire coral colonies, and retreats into its branches when threatened. In Brazil, fire coral colonies are extensively damaged when harvesting the yellowtail damselfish, as the corals are often deliberately smashed and fishes hiding amongst the branches are ‘shaken out’ into plastic bags.[7]

Fire corals face the many threats impacting coral reefs globally, including poor land management practices releasing more sediment, nutrients, and pollutants into the oceans and stressing the fragile reef ecosystem. Overfishing has ‘knock-on’ effects that result in the increase of macroalgae that can outcompete and smother corals, and fishing using destructive methods physically devastates the reef. A further potential threat is the increase of coral bleaching events, as a result of global climate change.[6]

Threats and conservation

[5][4]

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