Reproductive isolation among Acropora Species (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) in a marginal coral assemblage

Wei, Nuwei Vivian, Hsieh, Hernyi Justin, Dai, Chang-Feng, Wallace, Carden C., Baird, Andrew H., and Chen, Chaolun Allen (2012) Reproductive isolation among Acropora Species (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) in a marginal coral assemblage. Zoological Studies, 51 (1). pp. 85-92.

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Hybridization was proposed as being an important source of evolutionary novelty in broadcast-spawning reef-building corals. In addition, hybridization was hypothesized to be more frequent at the periphery of species' ranges and in marginal habitats. We tested the potential for hybridization in 2 ways: observations of the time of spawning and non-choice interspecific fertilization experiments of 4 sympatric Acropora species in a non-reefal coral assemblage at Chinwan Inner Bay (CIB), Penghu Is., Taiwan. We found that colonies of more than 1 species rarely released gametes at the same time, thus limiting the opportunities for cross-fertilization in the wild. On the few occasions when different species released gametes in synchrony, interspecific fertilization in experimental crosses was uniformly low (the proportion of eggs fertilized ranged 0%-4.58% with a mode of 0%), and interspecific-crossed embryos ceased development and died within 12 h after initially being fertilized. Ecological and experimental analyses indicated that reproductive isolation exists in these 4 Acropora species even though they have the opportunities to spawn synchronously, suggesting that hybridization is not very frequent in this marginal coral habitat at CIB.

Item ID: 22511
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1021-5506
Keywords: acropora, hybridization, synchronous spawning, marginal coral community
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 06:15
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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