Calcareous skeletons of stony corals are composed of a low-crystalline core (center of calcification: COC) and surrounding fibrous crystals. We characterized the overall framework of juvenile Acropora digitifera corals to clarify the entire calcic architecture and the contribution of abiotic processes. Skeletal and tubular frameworks contain string and sheet COCs, respectively, consisting of strained aragonite nanograins. Parallel and curved structures of fibrous aragonite develop around the COC cores through geometric selection and a gradual change in the growth direction of the c-direction-elongated nanorods. Based on a study of the nanoscale morphology of the coral frameworks by comparing them to fibrous crystals grown in artificial systems, it appears that subsequent precipitation of the fibrous aragonite on the COC is primarily regulated by environmental abiotic parameters. The architecture of the COC network is deduced to be designed biologically and then thickened by the fibrous crystals that are produced with morphology formation through physicochemical processes although the vital activity controls the total mineralization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)