Vol. 36 No. 1, 1997
Morphological and Mechanical Properties of Two Alcyonaceans, and Sinularia flexibilis and S. capillosa
Ming-Chao Lin and Chang-Feng Dai*
Inst.of Oceanography, National Taiwan Univ.,P. O.Box23-13,Taipei, Taiwan 106
Ming-Chao Lin and Chang-Feng Dai (1997) Drag and changes of colony morphology under various flow velocities of 2 sympatric alcyonaceans, Sinularia flexibilis and S. capillosa,
were studied. The mechanical properties of tissues from these 2 species
were also investigated. Colonies of the 2 species have similar
mophological and mechanical properties. Flexibility of the
colonies enables them to bend intoa drag-reducing or ientation at
higher flow velocities by collapsing the colony, thus bringing it
nearer the substratum. In addition, the 2 species also have a similar
volume fraction of sclerites and similar stiffnessof intact colony
tissue. However, the 2 species differ in sclerite size, and
the stiffness of S. flexibilis after decalcification is higher than that of S. capillosa. These facts indicate that sclerites may not be the only factor affecting the stiffness of S. flexibilis and S. capillosa;
the stiffness of the mesoglea may also play an important role.
The results show that these 2 sympatric species possess similar
morphological and mech-anical properties to reduce drag, but they
achieve this through different skeletal constitutions.
Key words: Biomechanics, Drag, Sclerite, Water flow.
*Correspondence: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org