Photograph by Leo Chen

Acropora Granulosa

While consistent with the main characteristics of Acropora corals, the species known as Acropora Granulosa can usually be found as a smooth branched coral, more or less short in size, which is dominant in southwestern Pacific and southeastern Indian Ocean waters.
Although the intensity of its color and size of its growth can be somewhat diverse, the species is usually found in formations of short, purple granular shapes with yellow tips and edges.

General Characteristics and Occurrence

Acropora Granulosa is a commonly occurring species of coral found in the waters surrounding Australia and Indonesia, as well as in numerous different areas in the Indian Ocean. Known to thrive mainly in areas where water movement and waves are less prevalent, the species is found in abundance in the specific locations where it was spotted the most.
Colonies are usually found in circular or semi-circular plates, arranged in a horizontal fashion and located close to other Acropora-type corals. Populations of neatly stacked together horizontally inclined blue, crème, purple or yellowish branches along with smaller branches of a paler color largely define the unique visual characteristics of the Granulosa coral.
Their habitats mainly thrive in reef slopes that are undisturbed by intense wave action, although there have been exceptions to this rule based on the specific type of Granulosa found and the waters they inhabit. Also, it is worth mentioning that Acropora Granulosa is not shy from appearing in most types of reef environments, making it quite common in certain areas.
Although usual occurrences have been spotted mainly across the reefs of Australia, southern China and Indonesia, this species of coral has also been known to appear – although less prevalently – in areas surrounding Sri Lanka and northern Madagascar.

Population Stats and Growth

Although similar in its low tolerance and low resistance levels to many other Acropora species known to be sensitive when it comes to bleaching or the presence of chemicals in the water, the species also has a few important properties that makes it more capable of withstanding major threats.
Its maturity cycle can often reach 8 years, while the species can be located in shallow, tropical reef environments on slopes deeper than 15 meters. Its range has actually been observed at depths of 8-40 meters, although its occurrence in shallower waters is less notable.
Nevertheless, the Acropora Granulosa corals’ near threatened status is fully justified by its tendency to cope less easily with climate change and temperature shift, as well as by the destruction of more than 20% of the surrounding reefs in the areas where it is most prevalent which has lead to the species’ considerable population decrease since the 1970s.

Blane Perun

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