1. Microscale light management and inherent optical properties of intact corals studied with optical coherence tomography

    Microscale light management and inherent optical properties of intact corals studied with optical coherence tomography

    Coral reefs are highly productive photosynthetic systems and coral optics studies suggest that such high efficiency is due to optimised light scattering by coral tissue and skeleton. Here, we characterise the inherent optical properties, i.e., the scattering coefficient, μ s , and the anisotropy of scattering, g , of 8 intact coral species using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Specifically, we describe light scattering by coral skeletons, coenoarc tissues, polyp tentacles and areas covered by fluorescent pigments (FP). Our results reveal that light scattering between coral species ranges from μ s = 3 mm -1 ( Stylophora pistillata ) to μ s = 25 mm -1 ( Echinopora lamelosa ). For ...

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