rowth and form of marine organisms inhabiting hard substrata, the G"marine sessile organisms", ischaracterized by anumber ofremarkable properties. One remarkable feature of these organisms is that many ofthem can be characterizedasmodularorganisms. Modularorganisms are typically built ofrepeated units, the modules, which might be a polyp in a coral colony or afrond in seaweeds. In most cases,the modulehas adistinctive form, while the growth form of the entire colony is frequently an indeterminate form. Indeterminategrowthindicatesthatthe same growthprocess mayresult in an infinite numberofdifferentrealizations ofthe growthform.This isincontrast to unitaryorganisms such asvertebrates and insects, in which a single-celled stage develops into a well-defined, determinate structure. In many cases the growth process in modular organisms leads to complex shapes, which are often quite difficult to describe in words. In most of the biological literature these forms are only described in qualitativeand rather vague terms, such as "thinlybranching","tree-shaped" and "irregularlybranching".
Anothermajor characteristic ofmarine sessile organisms is that there is frequentlyastrongimpactofthe physical environmenton the growthprocess, leading to a variety of growth forms. Growth by accumulation of modules allows the organism to fit its shape to its environment i.e., have plasticity. In many seaweeds, sponges, and corals, differences in exposure to water movement cause significant changes in morphology. Agood example of this plasticity is the Indo-Pacific stony coral Pocillopora damicornis(Veron and Pichon 1976) shown in Plg.r.i. In very sheltered environments, this species has a thin-branching growth form. The growth form gradually transforms to a more compact shape when the exposure to water movement increases.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
Number of pages: 193
Weight: 588 g
Dimensions: 277 x 210 x 11 mm
Edition: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2001
From the reviews:
"Sessile marine organisms, like sponges or corals, are often modular organisms, typically built of repeated units, the modules. ... Improved computing methods have made it possible to simulate the growth of such organisms ... . This volume is the outcome of a 1999 conference. It is mainly devoted to the interaction of biology and computing. Many figures confronting photos of live animals with computer generated simulations give a good impression for the non-specialist." (Benno Artmann, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1007, 2003)
"The purpose of this book ... is to 'provide an overview of how simulation models can provide insights into the growth and forms of seaweeds, sponges, corals and other marine sessile organisms. ... the text as a whole has coherence and balance. It is beautifully, if sometimes eccentrically, illustrated with photographs, drawings and computer simulations. It provides a clear and much-needed summary of the state of the art in this difficult but important area of biological simulation that will appeal to the specialist." (Michael Whitfield, Times Higher Education Supplement, November, 2002)
"Jaap Kaandorp and Janet Kubler's book The Algorithmic Beauty of Seaweeds, Sponges and Corals covers the modelling of the growth and form of some organisms. Lots of detail is provided for the biology ... . there is enough information to encourage investigations - and the many wonderful illustrations help to spur on the reader." (Andrew Bowler, New Scientist, March, 2002)