Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 5, pp 1181–1185 | Cite as

Effects of elevated temperature on larval settlement and post-settlement survival in scleractinian corals, Acropora solitaryensis and Favites chinensis

Research Article


We examined the effects of elevated temperature under different exposure periods on larval settlement and post-settlement survival in scleractinian corals, Acropora solitaryensis and Favites chinensis. In the first experiment with the subtropical coral, A. solitaryensis, the numbers of larvae settling and those dead were examined daily for 5 days at 20, 23 (ambient), 26 and 29°C conditions. Larval settlement of A. solitaryensis was initially greater at higher temperature conditions, but the peak in number of settled larvae shifted from 29 to 26°C by day 5, due to ca. 90% post-settlement mortality at 29°C condition. In order to determine the effects under short-term exposure, larvae of F. chinensis were exposed to 27 (ambient), 31 or 34°C only for one hour in the second experiment. The number of larvae settling for 24 h after the exposure and their survivorship over subsequent week was monitored in the ambient temperature condition. Larvae of F. chinensis exhibited greater settlement at higher temperature treatments and constantly low post-settlement mortalities (< ca. 17%) in all temperature treatments, resulting in the highest number of settled larvae at 34°C treatment. These results suggested two different effects of elevated temperature on the early stages of recruitment process of scleractinian corals; (1) the positive effect on larval settlement and (2) the negative effect on post-settlement survival under prolonged exposure.


  1. Avila C (1998) Competence and metamorphosis in the long-term planktotrophic larvae of the nudibranch mollusc Hermissenda crassicornis (Eschscholtz, 1831). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 231:81–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babcock RC, Heyward AJ (1986) Larval development of certain gamete-spawning scleractinian corals. Coral Reefs 5:111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baird AH, Gilmour JP, Kamiki TM, Nonaka M, Pratchett MS, Yamamoto HH, Yamasaki H (2006) Temperature tolerance of symbiotic and non-symbiotic coral larvae. In: Proceedings of 10th international coral reef symposium, pp 38–42Google Scholar
  4. Bassim KM, Sammarco PW (2003) Effects of temperature and ammonium on larval development and survivorship in a scleractinian coral (Diploria strigosa). Mar Biol 142:241–252Google Scholar
  5. Bassim KM, Sammarco PW, Snell TL (2002) Effects of temperature on success of (self and non-self) fertilization and embryogenesis in Diploria strigosa (Cnidaria, Scleractinia). Mar Biol 140:479–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coles SL (1984) Colonization of Hawaiian reef corals on new and denuded substrata in the vicinity of a Hawaiian power station. Coral Reefs 3:123–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coles SL (1985) The effects of elevated temperature on reef coral planula settlement as related to power station entrainment. In: Proceedings of 5th international coral reef congress, 4:171–176Google Scholar
  8. Edmondson CH (1929) Growth of Hawaiian corals. Bernice Bishop Mus Bull 58:1–38Google Scholar
  9. Edmunds PJ, Gates RD, Gleason DF (2001) The biology of larvae from the reef coral Porites astreoides, and their response to temperature disturbances. Mar Biol 139:981–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gaudette MF, Lowther JL, Pechenik JA (2001) Heat shock induces metamorphosis in the larvae of the prosobranch gastropod Crepidula fornicata. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 266:151–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kroiher M, Walther M, Berking S (1992) Heat shock as inducer of metamorphosis in marine invertebrates. Roux’s Arch Dev Biol 201:169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Krupp DA, Hollingsworth LL, Peterka J (2006) Elevated temperature sensitivity of fertilization and early development in the mushroom coral, Fungia scutaria Lamarck 1801. In: Proceedings of 10th international coral reef symposium, pp 71–77Google Scholar
  13. Nozawa Y, Harrison PL (2002) Larval settlement patterns, dispersal potential, and the effect of temperature on settlement of larvae of the reef coral, Platygyra daedalea, from the Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of 9th international coral reef symposium, 1:409–415Google Scholar
  14. Nozawa Y, Harrison PL (2005) Temporal settlement patterns of larvae of the broadcast spawning reef coral Favites chinensis and the broadcast spawning and brooding reef coral Goniastrea aspera from Okinawa, Japan. Coral Reefs 24:274–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pineda J, Riebensahm D, Medeiros-Bergen D (2002) Semibalanus balanoides in winter and spring: larval concentration, settlement, and substrate occupancy. Mar Biol 140:789–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wilson JR, Harrison PL (1997) Sexual reproduction in high latitude coral communities at the Solitary Islands, eastern Australia. In: Proceedings of 8th international coral reef symposium, 1:533–538Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Institute on KuroshioKochiJapan
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityNSWAustralia

Personalised recommendations