Field guide to Dongsha Island coral published by Taiwanese researchers

The groundbreaking guidebook will contribute greatly to the little known world of octocoral


Taiwan researchers contribute greatly to the little known world of octocoral. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Marine National Park Headquarters of the Dongsha Atoll announced the publication a comprehensive field guide to octocoral, entitled "Octoganal Fauna of Dongshan Atoll."

The discovery of over 119 types of octocoral are discussed in the book, according to CNA. The volume includes the results of two years of research from National Taiwan University Institute of Oceanology Professor Dai Chang-feng (戴昌鳳).

(Image from Marine National Park Headquarters website) 

Due to the innate difficulty in researching this type of coral, few octocoral specialists exist and even fewer reference materials are available on the subject, said the Marine Headquarters. This volume provides the information necessary to identify and distinguish different kinds of octocoral, as well as rare pictures of their underwater world.

(CNA image) 

A vibrant coral reef surrounds the Dongsha Atoll, housing several kinds of oceanic life, including seagrass, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. The Marine Headquarters attributes the reef’s hospitality to its location, having a consistent circulation of water, in the path of large waves, clear deep water, and with above average water coverage of the coral.

(CNA image)

Location of Dongsha Atoll (Image from Google Maps)