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Research Technical Report

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Investigations of bamboo coral age and growth from Davidson Seamount

Andrews, A.H., C.C. Lundstrom, G.M. Cailliet, and A.P. De Vogelaere (September 2007)


Estimates of age and growth for bamboo coral (Keratoisis spp.) have been difficult to determine and only a few of these estimates had an actual temporal context. In this study, two bamboo coral colonies were collected from Davidson Seamount and analyzed for age and growth using lead-210 dating. The findings from both colonies converged on a radial growth rate of approximately 0.055 mm/yr. The calculated age of each colony was 89 years (range of 74-106 years) for a colony that stood 70 cm tall, and 145 years (upper limit of 450 years) for a large colony with irregular shape and height. Linear extension rates for each colony varied considerably with a range of 0.093 to 1.0 cm/year between the two colonies, which may indicate that linear growth rates are unreliable as an indicator of colony age.