Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Massive ↔ Encrusting

Massive refers to colonies which are solid with roughly similar dimensions in all directions (e.g. p.16 of the Coral Finder).  They may also be described as domed or mound-shaped.  If colonies form lumpy surfaces they may be called sub-massive.  As colonies become flatter, they are termed thick encrusting or encrusting (e.g. p. 17 of the Coral Finder).

The ecological history of coral colonies produces an infinite variety of forms. The terms we use to describe coral growth forms grade into each other. e.g. the genus Favia (below) can be massive, sub-massive, thick encrusting & thin encrusting.