Montipora is a genus of scleractinian or reef-building coral closely related to Acropora (Family Acroporidae), with typical growthform plate-like, encrusting, submassive, and foliaceous colony. Most corals, including Montipora, live as colonies of individuals (or polyps) and have endosymbiotic zooxanthellae that dwells inside polyp’s cells, thus producing energy and shading different color for the coral colonies. Related to major threats of corals, that is high temperatures affected by the global climate change, Montipora corals are susceptible to bleaching, disease, extreme weather and climate phenomena, as well as ocean acidification.
Montipora corals flourish in shallow reef environments with bright sunlight and moderate wave motion, although they can survive in all reef habitats from high-energy upper reef slopes to deeper lagoonal reefs. Small crevices among Montipora colonies provide habitats for small reef fishes, like Pomacentridae. At present, Montipora is estimated to have 75 extant species worldwide, ranging from the Red Sea and western Indian Ocean to the Southern Pacific. Aquarists value Montipora corals due to their contrasting and various colors, thus propping up immense demand for ornamental reef aquaria and resulted in several Montipora speces listed in IUCN Vulnerable status.
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