Marine Biology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 641–646 | Cite as

Evidence for broadcast spawning as well as brooding in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis



The reproductive activity of 88 colonies of Pocillopora damicornis at Rottnest Island, Western Australia, was examined over 12 mo (20 August 1988 to 20 August 1989). Larvae were found close to the three new moons of February, March and April, 1989, but in large numbers only during March; 67% of all corals produced larvae. There was no obvious connection between gametogenesis and the production of brooded larvae; however, those corals which did not produce, larvae also did not produce ova but did produce, sperm, and must be considered male colonies. All colonies which produced ova went on to produce planulae. Spermatogenesis occurred throughout the year, but oogenesis occurred between September 1988 and April 1989. Dramatic declines in the percentage of polyps containing eggs and sperm occurred in early February and early April 1989. On these dates the amount of lipid in the tissue of the corals decreased, which suggests that the decline in the percentage of polyps with sperm and eggs was not due to the gametes being resorbed by the polyps. Therefore, P. damicornis at Rottnest Island appears to be both a brooder and a broadcaster with asexual reproduction through brooded larvae and sexual reproduction through spawning of gametes. This accounts for earlier evidence in the literature that some input from sexual reproduction had been occurring in the populations of P. damicornis at Rottnest Island. There is no direct evidence for spawning, as broadcasting of gametes has not been observed, but the indirect evidence provides a strong argument for the existence of this dual reproduction.


Lipid Direct Evidence Indirect Evidence Sexual Reproduction Strong Argument 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia

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