Broadcast spawning by Pocillopora species on the Great Barrier Reef

Schmidt-Roach, Sebastian, Miller, Karen J., Woolsey, Erika, Gerlach, Gabriele, and Baird, Andrew H. (2012) Broadcast spawning by Pocillopora species on the Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE, 7 (12). e50847. e50847.

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Abstract

The coral genus Pocillopora is one of the few to include some species that broadcast spawn gametes and some species that brood larvae, although reports of reproductive mode and timing vary within and among species across their range. Notably, the ubiquitous Pocillopora damicornis has been described as both a brooder and spawner, although evidence of broadcast spawning is rare. Here, we report observations of broadcast-spawning in four species of Pocillopora on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), including P. damicornis. All species spawned predictably during the early morning, two days following the full moon, and spawning was observed in multiple months over the summer period (November to February). Eggs and sperm were free-spawned concurrently. Eggs were negatively buoyant and contained Symbiodinium. This newfound knowledge on the mode, timing and regularity of broadcast spawning in Pocillopora spp. on the GBR brings us one step closer to elucidating the complex reproductive ecology of these species.

Item ID: 24820
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2012 Schmidt-Roach et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF)
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 02:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 34%
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