Coral Reefs

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 112–116 | Cite as

Reproductive seasonality in an equatorial assemblage of scleractinian corals

  • J. R. Guest
  • A. H. Baird
  • B. P. L. Goh
  • L. M. Chou


Multi-specific, synchronous spawning of scleractinian corals was first documented on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in the early 1980s (Harrison et al. 1984). There, over a period of eight nights in late spring, at least 133 coral species released their gametes for external fertilisation and more than 30 species spawned on the same night on one reef (Willis et al. 1985; Babcock et al. 1986). However, the causal factors responsible for this remarkable phenomenon are still not clearly understood (see review in Harrison and Wallace 1990). Comparisons of reproductive patterns—from sites at a variety of latitudes, with contrasting seasonal and environmental conditions—can help to elucidate the “ultimate” causes of reproductive seasonality and synchrony (Oliver et al. 1988). Early examples of such comparisons showed that multi-species reproductive synchrony is not a characteristic of all coral communities (Richmond and Hunter 1990). In particular, studies in parts of the...


Reproductive seasonality Acropora Synchronous spawning Singapore Equatorial Coral reef 



Thanks to Sasi Nayar, volunteers from the Marine Biology Laboratory at the National University Singapore (NUS) and the excellent crew of the RV Mudskipper for invaluable assistance in the field. We are grateful to Dr. Ruth O’Riordan and two anonymous reviewers who offered useful suggestions that improved the manuscript. J. R.Guest was supported by a Graduate Research Scholarship provided by NUS. This is contribution number 265 of the Coral Ecology Group at James Cook University (JCU) and contribution number 96 of the Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity (JCU).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Guest
    • 1
  • A. H. Baird
    • 3
  • B. P. L. Goh
    • 4
  • L. M. Chou
    • 2
  1. 1.Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Marine Biology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences National University of SingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Centre for Coral Reef Biodiversity, Department of Marine BiologyJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  4. 4.Natural SciencesNational Institute of Education/NTUSingapore

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