, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 139-153
Date: 02 Oct 2012

Reproductive periodicity of the scleractinian coral Lophelia pertusa from the Trondheim Fjord, Norway

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Abstract

Between 2002 and 2008, samples of the cold-water scleractinian coral Lophelia pertusa were collected from the Trondheim Fjord in Norway to examine reproductive periodicity. Collections were made from three locations: Tautra, (63°35.36′N, 10°31.23′E at 40–70 m), Stokkbergneset (63°28.18′N, 09°54.73′E at 110–500 m), and Røberg (63°28.88′N, 09°59.50′E at 250 m). Populations of L. pertusa from the Trondheim Fjord initiated oogenesis in January and spawning occurred from late January to early March the following year. Gametogenic cycles of the female L. pertusa samples overlapped by approximately 2 months, with oogonia visible in January, but this was not evident in the males. This paper provides the most complete gametogenic cycle to date and spawning observations for this important structure-forming species. The results from fjord populations are compared with published and preliminary data from other regions and are discussed in the context of regional differences in physical and biological variables, particularly food supply. Differences in gametogenic cycles within a single species provide a rare opportunity (especially in deep-sea species) to examine potential drivers of reproduction.

Communicated by U. Sommer.