Interspecific interactions among species of the coral genus Porites from Okinawa, Japan

Baruch Rinkevich, Kazuhiko Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analysis of field established xenogeneic interactions among five Parites species from Sesoko Island, Okinawa, revealed a transitive type of hierarchy as: P. rus > P. cylindrica > P. lobata > P. australiensis > P. lutea. Out of the 111 interspecific encounters studied, in only 5.4% reciprocal interactions were recorded, and in a single case, the opposite directionality of hierarchy was documented. Allogeneic encounters were also observed. A single major effector mechanism, an overgrowth (together with secondary outcomes such as the formation of small points of rejection, bleaching and pink color formation along a narrow peripheral belt of contacting tissues), was the only response in all 10 xenogeneic and 5 allogeneic combinations. In some massive colonies, a long contacting line of up to 50 cm was established. No sign for allelopathy, stand-off or rejection from a distance (i.e., by sweeper tentacles, sweeper polyps) was observed. Results are discussed with the accumulated data on Porites species from different reefs, worldwide, confirming that this genus is commonly lower in the hierarchy of xenogeneic interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of the research carried out in the Minerva Center for Marine Invertebrate Immunology and Developmental Biology and was also supported by a fellowship to BR from the Japanese Ministry of Science, Education, Culture and Sports to a Foreign Visiting Professor of the Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus. We thank A. Takemura, S. Nakamura, C. Uchima and Y. Nakano for hospitality and assistance during the study and to R. van Woesik for help in identifying Porites species.


  • Allorecognition
  • Cnidaria
  • Effector mechanism
  • Hierarchy
  • Japan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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