Table of Contents
ISRN Biomathematics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 159170, 14 pages
Review Article

Macroscopic Modelling of Environmental Influence on Growth and Form of Sponges and Corals Using the Accretive Growth Model

Section Computational Science, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 10 December 2012; Accepted 17 January 2013

Academic Editors: M. Glavinovic, S.-C. Ngan, and A. A. Polezhaev

Copyright © 2013 Jaap A. Kaandorp. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We discuss a macroscopical growth model which can be used to simulate growth forms of complex-shaped branching organisms with radiate accretive growth. This type of growth processes can be found in many different marine sessile organisms. We use scleractinian corals and a branching sponge as an example. With the radiate accretive growth model a wide range of morphologies and the influence of the physical environment (light and nutrient distribution by advection-diffusion) can be modelled. We show an (preliminary) example of how the accretive growth model can be coupled with a model of gene regulation and body plan formation in a branching sponge.