The response of the polyps, however, is similar in that layers of compact, fine crystalline repair carbonate are deposited at points of attempted endolith penetration.
Although reports of fungal and algal-like endoliths in corals date back almost 150 years (1) and evidence of a fossil history extends as far back as the Upper Devonian ([sim]370 ma) (2), most attention has been paid to the structure (3), function (4, 5), and diversity (6) of the coral-zooxanthellae interactions, ignoring the endolithic members of the consortium.
Dense populations of algal and fungal endoliths have been associated with black-stained bands in specimens of P.
Although skeletons of dead corals are bored by a variety of endolithic microorganisms, there has been no evidence that endoliths can penetrate the layer of tissue that covers living coral surfaces, leading to the conclusion that infestation by a limited number of specialized endoliths occurs early in the life of a coral, and that endolithic algae and fungi continue to grow in parallel with the accretion of the corallum (8).
Distribution of endoliths and coral-fungal interactions were also investigated on selected specimens of Montipora cf.
eydouxi in petrographic thin sections revealed the presence of algal and fungal endoliths, as well as the presence of cone-like protrusions on the surface of the corallum in both species.
Microbial endoliths in the skeletons of live and dead corals: Porites lobata (Moorea, French Polynesia).
Metabolism, although an essential component in defining complexity of animate matter, can remain dormant for extended intervals as in the slow metabolism of endoliths
(93), life transitioning through a non-metabolizing seed or spore stage, extracellular viruses, and tardigrades.