Long-term dynamics of coral populations: contrasting reproductive modes

Hughes, T.P. (1988) Long-term dynamics of coral populations: contrasting reproductive modes. In: Choat, J.H., Barnes, D., Borowitzka, M.A., Coll, J.C., Davies, P.J., Flood, P., Hatcher, B.G., Hopley, D., Hutchings, P.A., Kinsey, D., Orme, G.R., Pichon, M., Sale, P..F, Sammarco, P., Wallace, C.C., Wilkinson, C., Wolanski, E., and Bellwood, O., (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Coral Reef Symposium. International Society for Reef Studies, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 721-725.

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Population dynamics of 4 species of Caribbean corals (Agaricia agaricites, A. Lamarcki, Leptoseris cucullata, and Montastrea annularis) were measured annyally in Jamaica over a 10 year period. Like many corals, these species can reproduce sexually (by the production of larval recruits), or asexually (by fission). Here I examine for the first time the relative contribution of these two processes in maintaining the size of local coral populations.

Survivorship from 1977-1987 of colonies originally present ranged inter-specifically from 7-61%. The longer lived species, M. annularis and A. lamarcki, had only 7 larval recruits, while the shorter-lived species, A. agaricites and L. cucullata, had 167. More colonies were generated locally by asexual fission than by larval recruitment into the permanent plots, for 3 of the 4 species. The per species ratio of recruits to fissions ranged more than 20 fold from less than 1:10 to greater than 2:1. By 1987, all colonies could be identified as (1) survivors of those already present 10 years earlier, (2) daughter colonies formed by fission of old survivors, or (3) larval recruits of known age. The relative number of each of these three categories varied widely from species to species, indicating substantial differences in colonizing ability, and in genet longevity and turnover.

Item ID: 25784
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-7316-5603-5
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 04:29
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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