Self-fertilization suppresses thermal tolerance in embryos of reef-building coral

Woolsey, Erika (2012) Self-fertilization suppresses thermal tolerance in embryos of reef-building coral. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 1-4. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Self-fertilization is unusual in most animals but common in some scleractinian corals, in particular, the family Faviidae. High levels of self-fertilization in many faviids may contribute to their large latitudinal range size and their dominance of some isolated, high latitude coral assemblages in eastern Australia. In this study, conducted at One Tree Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef, the thermal tolerance of self-fertilized Goniastrea favulus embryos was compared to outcrossed embryos across five temperature treatments (20°C, 22°C, 24°C, 26°C, and 28°C). Response variables were fertilization success, development rate, and larval survivorship. Fertilization was high (85-100%) across all treatments in cross-fertilized embryos. In self-fertilized G. favulus fertilization was low in treatments below ambient (27 and 60 % at -4 and -2 °C, respectively), though the effects on fertilization were not significant among the treatments. Development rates (i.e. mean times to the planula stage) were similar in selfed and outcrossed embryos. Development occurred more rapidly at raised temperatures for both groups. High mortality occurred at raised temperatures, at +4°C especially, for both self and crossed-fertilized G. favulus. Survivorship curves, median lifespans, and overlaps in 95% confidence intervals suggest reduced survivorship in selfed embryos. These results suggest self-fertilization has a negative effect on dispersal potential in reef-building corals.

Item ID: 22389
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: coral, self-fertilization, thermal tolerance, larvae, dispersal
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ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2012 02:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 34%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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