Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 347–351 | Cite as

Temporal patterns of larval settlement and survivorship of two broadcast-spawning acroporid corals

  • Yoko Nozawa
  • Peter L. Harrison
Original Paper

Abstract

Acroporid corals are the main reef-building corals that provide three-dimensional habitats for other reef organisms, but are decreasing on many reefs worldwide due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In this study, temporal patterns of larval settlement and survivorship of two broadcast-spawning acroporid coral species, Acropora muricata and A. valida, were examined through laboratory rearing experiments to better understand the potential for larval dispersal of this important coral group. Many larvae were attached (but not metamorphosed) to settlement tiles on the first examination 3–4 days after spawning (AS). The first permanent larval settlement (i.e. metamorphosed and permanently settled juvenile polyps) occurred at 5–6 days AS, and most larval settlement (85–97% of total) occurred within 9–10 days AS. Larval survivorship decreased substantially to around 50% by the first week of the experiment and to approximately 10% by the second to third week. The rates of larval attachment, settlement, and the initial drop in survivorship of larvae suggest that effective dispersal of some acroporid species may largely be completed within the first few weeks AS.

Keywords

Great Barrier Reef Larval Dispersal Natal Reef Acroporid Coral Settlement Tile 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported in part by an Australian Research Council Large Grant to P·H. and a Southern Cross University postgraduate student grant to Y. N. We thank the staff of HIRS and SCU for their hospitality and support. We also thank Dr S. Ward for her help and Prof M. Tokeshi and Dr James D. Reimer for comments on the manuscript. The experiments performed here complied with the current laws of Australia.

References

  1. Andrews JC, Gay S, Sammarco PW (1989) Models of dispersal and recruitment of coral larvae around an isolated reef (Helix Reef) in the central Great Barrier Reef. Proc 6th Int Coral Reef Cong 2:469–474Google Scholar
  2. Ayre DJ, Hughes TP (2000) Genotypic diversity and gene flow in brooding and spawning corals along the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Evolution Int J Org Evolution 54:1590–1605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayre DJ, Hughes TP (2004) Climate change, genotypic diversity and gene flow in reef-building corals. Ecol Lett 7:273–278. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00585.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baird A (1998) The length of the larval phase in corals: new insights into patterns of reef connectivity. Aust Coral Reef Soc Newsl 27:6–8Google Scholar
  5. Bellwood DR, Hughes TP, Folke C, Nyström M (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429:827–833. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02691 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Black KP (1993) The relative importance of local retention and inter-reef dispersal of neutrally buoyant material on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 12:43–53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00303783 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carlon DB, Olson RR (1993) Larval dispersal distance as an explanation for adult spatial pattern in two Caribbean reef corals. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 173:247–263. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-0981(93)90056-T CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gardner TA, Côté IM, Gill JA, Grant A, Watkinson AR (2003) Long-term region-wide declines in Caribbean corals. Science 301:958–960. doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1086050 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gay SL, Andrews JC (1994) The effect of recruitment strategies on coral larvae settlement distribution at Helix Reef. In: Sammarco PW, Heron ML (eds) The bio-physics of marine larval dispersal, Coastal and Estuarine Studies 45. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 73–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harrison PL (1993) Coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef. Search 24:45–48Google Scholar
  11. Harrison PL (1997) Settlement competency periods and dispersal potential of planula larvae of the reef coral Acropora longicyathus. Australian Coral Reef Society Proceedings: 263Google Scholar
  12. Harrison PL (2006) Settlement competency periods and dispersal potential of scleractinian reef coral larvae. In: Proceedings of the 10th Coral Reef Symposium, pp 78–82Google Scholar
  13. Harrison PL, Booth DJ (2007) Coral reefs: naturally dynamic and increasingly disturbed ecosystems. In: Connell SD, Gillanders BM (eds) Marine Ecology. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp 316–377Google Scholar
  14. Harrison PL, Wallace CC (1990) Reproduction, dispersal and recruitment of scleractinian corals. In: Dubinsky Z (ed) Coral Reef Ecosystems, Ecosystems of the World, Vol. 25 edn. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, pp 133–207Google Scholar
  15. Harii S, Kayanne H (2003) Larval dispersal, recruitment, and adult distribution of the brooding stony octocoral Heliopora coerulea on Ishigaki Island, southwest Japan. Coral Reefs 22:188–196. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-003-0302-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harii S, Nadaoka K, Yamamoto M, Iwao K (2007) Temporal changes in settlement, lipid content and lipid composition of larvae of the spawning hermatypic coral Acropora tenuis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 346:89–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07114 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harii S, Kayanne H, Takigawa H, Hayashibara T, Yamamoto M (2002) Larval survivorship, competency periods and settlement of two brooding corals, Heliopora coerulea and Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Biol (Berl) 141:39–46. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-002-0812-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs. Mar Freshw Res 50:839–866. doi: https://doi.org/10.1071/MF99078 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hughes TP, Baird AH, Dinsdale EA, Moltschaniwskyj NA, Pratchett MS, Tanner JE et al (2000) Supply-side ecology works both ways: the link between benthic adults, fecundity, and larval recruits. Ecology 81:2241–2249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hughes TP, Baird AH, Dinsdale EA, Harriott VJ, Moltschaniwskyj NA, Pratchett MS et al (2002) Detecting regional variation using meta-analysis and large-scale sampling: latitudinal patterns in recruitment. Ecology 83:436–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Machin D, Cheung YB, Parmar MKB (2006) Survival analysis, a practical approach, 2nd edn. Wiley, West SussexCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miller K, Mundy C (2003) Rapid settlement in broadcast spawning corals: implications for larval dispersal. Coral Reefs 22:99–106. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-003-0290-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mundy CN, Babcock RC (1998) Role of light intensity and spectral quality in coral settlement: Implications for depth-dependent settlement? J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 223:235–255. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-0981(97)00167-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nishikawa A, Katoh M, Sakai K (2003) Larval settlement rates and gene flow of broadcast-spawning (Acropora tenuis) and planula-brooding (Stylophora pistillata) corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 256:87–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps256087 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 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. Proc 9th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:409–415Google Scholar
  26. 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 24:274–282. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-005-0476-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nozawa Y, Tokeshi M, Nojima S (2006) Reproduction and recruitment of scleractinian corals in a high-latitude coral community, Amakusa, southwestern Japan. Mar Biol (Berl) 149:1047–1058. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-006-0285-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nozawa Y, Harrison PL (2007) Effects of elevated temperature on larval settlement and post-settlement survival in scleractinian corals, Acropora solitaryensis and Favites chinensis. Mar Biol (Berl) 152:1181–1185. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-007-0765-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oliver JK, Willis BL (1987) Coral spawn slicks in the Great Barrier Reef: preliminary observations. Mar Biol (Berl) 94:521–529. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00431398 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Richmond RH (1987) Energetics, competency, and long-distance dispersal of planula larvae of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Mar Biol (Berl) 93:527–533. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00392790 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Richmond RH (1989) Competency and dispersal of spawned versus brooded coral planulae larvae. Proc 6th Int Coral Reef Symp 2:827–831Google Scholar
  32. Roberts CM (1997) Connectivity and management of Caribbean coral reefs. Science 278:1454–1457. doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.278.5342.1454 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Veron JEN (1995) Corals in space and time: the biogeography and evolution of the scleractinia. UNSW Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  34. Wallace CC (1999) Staghorn corals of the World: a revision of the coral genus Acropora. CSIRO, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams DM, Wolanski E, Andrews JC (1984) Transport mechanisms and the potential movement of planktonic larvae in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 3:229–236. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288259 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Willis BL, Oliver JK (1990) Direct tracking of coral larvae: implication for dispersal studies of plankton complex environments. Ophelia 32:145–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wilson JR, Harrison PL (1998) Settlement-competency periods of larvae of three species of scleractinian corals. Mar Biol (Berl) 131:339–345. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s002270050327 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wolanski E, Jupp DLP, Pickard GL (1986) Currents and coral reefs. Oceanus 29:83–89Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Institute on KuroshioOtsukiJapan
  2. 2.Coral Reef Research Centre, School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

Personalised recommendations