Long Reef: Tubipora. Intertidal and subtidal surveys at Long Reef revealed extensive development of hard coral and soft coral communities.
During a spring low tide surveys of Long Reef we encountered an atypical habitat zone dominated by the Organ Pipe Coral, Tubipora sp.
Point-intercept transects conducted to quantify the percent cover of Tubipora in the zone verified that Tubipora was the dominant benthic organism with a mean of 27.67% ([+ or -] 3.24 SE) cover.
Tubipora was once thought to be a single ubiquitous species: Tubipora musica Linnaeus 1758 (Family Tubiporidae, Order Stolonifera, Class Anthozoa, Phylum Cnidaria) however there are now several nominal species of Tubipora.
Shared among the various nominal species of Tubipora is the distinctive bright red colour of the skeleton.
The sandy materials used in testing sponge selectivity were white polycrystalline quartz with a particle size of 0.25-0.5 mm (BDH laboratory sand); red calcareous sand of the same particle size obtained from the organ-pipe coral Tubipora musica; and fragments of a coralline alga, Lithothamnium sp., 3-5 mm in size.
To test the differences in behavior between the upper and lower surfaces of the sponge ectosome, a thin layer of a mixture (1:1) of the BDH siliceous and Tubipora calcareous sands was laid down on the upper ectosome of five specimens that had attached to the bottom of an aquarium covered by the same mixture.