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Data from: Evidence of sexual dimorphism in skeletal morphology of a gonochoric reef coral

Citation

Gonzalez-Espinosa, Pedro et al. (2018), Data from: Evidence of sexual dimorphism in skeletal morphology of a gonochoric reef coral, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5d6sp

Abstract

In the emerald coral Porites panamensis, the rates of elongation and calcification of colonies are higher in males than in females, probably because of the higher energetic demands of the latter in order to cope with the development of the large planulae produced throughout the year. This differing energetic demand could also be reflected in the sexual dimorphism of the calyces, so, to test this hypothesis, 11 morphological traits of the corallite were assessed from 63 colonies that were collected in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. Three traits showed statistical differences between sexes, enabling accurate distinction of males from females. Our results confirm for the first time the existence of external sexual dimorphism in a reef-building coral, opening the possibility that sex-related morphological differences may occur generally in gonochoric scleractinians. These findings can be very useful for the correct classification and characterization of recent and fossil records, helping to improve the historical and evolutive understanding of reef-building corals facing threats under environmental changes.

Usage Notes

Location

Gulf of California