Latitudinal variation in reproductive synchrony in Acropora assemblages: Japan vs. Australia

Baird, Andrew, Birrell, Chico L., Hughes, Terence, McDonald, Abbi, Nojima, Satoshi, Page, Cathie A., Pratchett, Morgan S., and Yamasaki, Hideo (2009) Latitudinal variation in reproductive synchrony in Acropora assemblages: Japan vs. Australia. Galaxea, Journal of Coral Reef Studies, 11 (2). pp. 101-108.

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Abstract The annual mass spawning of scleractinian corals on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, is purported to be unprecedented in terms of the taxonomic and geographical scale of spawning synchrony. Here, we compare spawning synchrony both within and among coral species in four regions spanning 10°of latitude on the GBR and compare this with four regions separated by a similar latitudinal range within the Japanese tropical and sub-tropical Archipelago. On the GBR, peak reproductive activity at all latitudes occurred in November whereas there was a clear disjunction in the period of peak reproductive activity among the four regions in Japan, with tropical locations spawning up to 3 months earlier. In Sekesei Lagoon (22°N), a high proportion of Acropora colonies were mature following the full moon in April; at Akajima Island (26°N) peak reproductive activity occurred in May; at Oku (28°N) peak reproductive activity occurred in June and in Amakusa (31°N), reproductive activity likely peaked in July. However, mature colonies of Acropora were found prior to every full moon for at least 5 months at two regions examined in detail (The Whitsundays Islands on the GBR and Akajima Island). While these regions on GBR appear to act more homogeneously than regions over a similar latitudinal range in Japan with respect to the timing of peak reproductive activity, and the proportion of colonies mature was often higher during these peaks, the reproductive season on the GBR is much longer (5 months) than is typically appreciated.

Item ID: 10125
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1883-3969
Keywords: coral reef; spawning synchrony; reproduction
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2010 05:35
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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