Marine Biology

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 39–46 | Cite as

Larval survivorship, competency periods and settlement of two brooding corals, Heliopora coerulea and Pocillopora damicornis

  •  S. Harii
  •  H. Kayanne
  •  H. Takigawa
  •  T. Hayashibara
  •  M. Yamamoto

Abstract.

Larval dispersal and recruitment are important in determining adult coral distribution; however, few studies have been made of coral larval dispersal. This study examined the larval behavior, survivorship competency periods and settlement of two brooding corals, Heliopora coerulea and Pocillopora damicornis, in relation to different potential larval dispersal patterns. We also examined the lipid content of H. coerulea as a means of flotation and a source of energy. Planulae of H. coerulea were on average 3.7 mm in length, lacked zooxanthellae, and were mostly benthic, probably because of restricted movement and low lipid content (54% by dry weight). Planulae of P. damicornis were on average 1.0 mm in length, had zooxanthellae and swam actively. The competency period of H. coerulea was shorter (30 days) than that of P. damicornis (100 days). Forty percent of H. coerulea planulae crawled onto the substrata within 1 h of release, and 47% settled within 6 h. By contrast, fewer than 10% of P. damicornis planulae crawled onto the substrata within the first hour and 25% settled within 6 h of release. The planulae of H. coerulea may have a narrower dispersal range than those of P. damicornis, settling and recruiting near parent colonies. Thus, brooding corals exhibit variations in larval dispersal patterns, which are characterized by their position in the water column and competency periods.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  •  S. Harii
    • 1
  •  H. Kayanne
    • 1
  •  H. Takigawa
    • 2
  •  T. Hayashibara
    • 3
  •  M. Yamamoto
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, 7–3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113–0033, Japan
  2. 2.Tokyo College of Medico-Pharmaco Technology, 6–5-12 Higasi Kasai, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 134–8530, Japan
  3. 3.Ishigaki Tropical Station, Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, 148–446, Fukai-Ohta, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa 907–0451, Japan
  4. 4.Department of Mineral and Fuel Resources, Geological Survey of Japan, 1–1-3 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0024, Japan
  5. 5.Present address: Department of Mechanical and Environmental Informatics, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2–12–1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152–8552, Japan
  6. 6.Present address: Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-10, Nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060–0810, Japan

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