Coral Reefs

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 87–90

Two patterns of energy allocation for growth, reproduction and lipid storage in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis


  • S. Ward
    • Centre for Coastal Management, Resource Science and ManagementSouthern Cross University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00303428

Cite this article as:
Ward, S. Coral Reefs (1995) 14: 87. doi:10.1007/BF00303428


A population of the coral Pocillopora damicornis was examined for 12 months to investigate whether different reproductive activities in the corals affected patcerns of energy allocation. Growth, the amount of lipid in the tissue, and reproductive activity were measured simultaneously at fortnightly intervals during the summer months when production of planulae was expected, and monthly for the cooler period of the year. Two group of corals could be identified: those which produced brooded larvae and formed ova and sperm during gametogenesis, and those which did not brood larvae and produced only sperm. Although they exhibited no morphological differences, these two groups displayed different patterns of energy allocation to growth, reproduction and lipid storage. Corals which did not produce brooded larvae grew one and a half times faster and had more lipid for storage after reproduction than those which produced brooded larvae. Corals that brooded larvae had more structural lipid before release of larvae than those without brooded larvae, reflecting a greater volume of reproductive material rich in lipid. These results demonstrate a substantial cost of reproduction since corals which did not produce brooded larvae and ova put more resources into grwoth and storage of lipid.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995