Multi-specific coral spawning in spring and autumn in far north-western Australia

Rosser, N. L. , and Baird, A.H. (2010) Multi-specific coral spawning in spring and autumn in far north-western Australia. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 366-370. From: 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 7 - 11 July 2008, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.

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Abstract

In Australia, 'mass' coral spawning, where hundreds of coral colonies and numerous species release gametes on the same night, typically occurs in October/November (spring) on the Great Barrier Reef, and in March/April (autumn) on the Western Australian coast. To assess if Western Australian corals also spawn in spring, surveys of the reproductive status of Acropora were conducted at over 10 sites in two locations in northwestern Australia, spanning over 1000 km and six degrees of latitude. This research found that 39% of Acropora species spawned in spring at the most northerly location and 7% of Acropora species spawned in spring at the more southerly location. This is the first time such a significant reproductive event in spring has been recorded in spring in Western Australia. While the causal mechanisms driving this second spawning period are likely to be complex, suitable environmental conditions in both spring and autumn might allow for two reproductive seasons on the far north-western Australian coast. This study suggests that the conditions that are suitable for reproduction in October/November are more favorable at the Bonaparte Archipelago than further south at the Dampier Archipelago.

Item ID: 15556
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: biannual spawning, coral reefs, spawning synchrony, north-west Australia
Date Deposited: 08 May 2011 23:02
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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