Advertisement

Coral Reefs

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 345–349 | Cite as

New insights into patterns of coral spawning on Western Australian reefs

  • N. L Rosser
  • J. P Gilmour
Note

Abstract

On reefs around Australia, coral mass spawning typically occurs during the austral spring (October/November) on the east coast, and during autumn (March/April) on the west coast. However, to investigate the incidence of a secondary spawning event in spring on the west coast, the reproductive state of corals was assessed on two reefs. The results indicated that of the 29 species of Acropora investigated, multiple colonies of 11 species spawned in late spring or in early summer, in contrast to previous reports of spawning during autumn. Additionally, of four species that were followed through time at one reef, two spawned in both spring and autumn, however, individual colonies had only one gametogenic cycle. Within a single site, conspecific colonies were reproductively isolated and may not interbreed, potentially representing the initial stage of sympatric speciation in these populations.

Keywords

Coral reproduction Biannual spawning Reproductive isolation Barrow Island Dampier Archipelago 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by Chevron Australian and The Australian Institute of Marine Science. C. Wallace from the Museum of Tropical North Queensland kindly identified study species. A. Heyward and A. Baird provided useful comments on an early draft.

References

  1. Babcock RC, Wills BL, Simpson CJ (1994) Mass spawning of corals on a high latitude coral reef. Coral Reefs 13:161–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baird AH, Marshall PA, Wolstenholme JK (2002) Latitudinal variation in the reproduction of Acropora in the Coral Sea. Proc 9th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:385–389Google Scholar
  3. Carroll A, Harrison P, Adjeroud M (2006) Sexual reproduction of Acropora reef corals at Moorea, French Polynesia. Coral Reefs 25:93–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coyne JA (1992) Genetics and speciation. Nature 355:511–515PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dai CF, Fan TY, Yu JK (2000) Reproductive isolation and genetic differentiation of a scleractinian coral Mycedium elephantotus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 201:179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fukami H, Omori M, Shimoike K, Hayashibara T, Hatta M (2003) Ecological and genetic aspects of reproductive isolation by different spawning times in Acropora corals. Mar Biol 142:679–684Google Scholar
  7. Guest JR, Baird AH, Goh BPL, Chou LM (2005a) Seasonal reproduction in equatorial reef corals. Invertebr Reprod Dev 48:207–218Google Scholar
  8. Guest JR, Baird AH, Goh BPL, Chou LM (2005b) Reproductive seasonality in an equatorial assemblage of scleractinian corals. Coral Reefs 24:112–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harrison PL, Wallace CC (1990) Reproduction, dispersal and recruitment of scleractinian corals. In: Dubinsky Z (ed) Ecosystems of the world, vol 25: Coral reefs. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 133–207Google Scholar
  10. Harrison PL, Babcock RC, Bull GD, Oliver JK, Wallace CC, Willis BL (1984) Mass spawning in tropical reef corals. Science 223:1186–1189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kenyon JC (1992) Sexual reproduction in Hawaiian Acropora. Coral Reefs 11:37–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knowlton N, Mate JL, Guzman HM, Rowan R, Jara J (1997) Direct evidence for reproductive isolation among the three species of the Montastraea annularis complex in Central America (Panama and Honduras). Mar Biol 127:705–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mangubhai S, Harrison PL (2006) Seasonal patterns of coral reproduction on equatorial reefs in Mombassa, Kenya. Proc 10th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:106–114Google Scholar
  14. Nozawa Y, Tokeshi M, Satoshi N (2006) Reproduction and recruitment of scleractinian corals in a high-latitude coral community, Amakusa, southwestern Japan. Mar Biol 149:1047–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Penland L, Kloulechad J, Idip D, van Woesik R (2004) Coral spawning in the western Pacific Ocean is related to solar insolation: evidence of multiple spawning events in Palau. Coral Reefs 23:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Simpson CJ (1985) Mass spawning of scleractinian corals in the Dampier Archipelago and the implications for management of coral reefs in Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Environment, Perth, Western Australia. Bulletin 244Google Scholar
  17. Simpson CJ (1991) Mass spawning of corals on Western Australian reefs and comparisons with the Great Barrier Reef. J R Soc West Aust 74:85–91Google Scholar
  18. Stobart B, Benzie JAH (1994) Allozyme electroporesis demonstrates that the scleractinian coral Montipora digitata is 2 species. Mar Biol 118:183–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stobart B, Babcock RC, Willis BL (1992) Biannual spawning of three species of scleractinian coral from the Great Barrier Reef. Proc 7th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:494–499Google Scholar
  20. Szmant AM (1986) Reproductive ecology of Caribbean reef corals. Coral Reefs 5:43–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Vargas-Angel B, Colley SB, Hoke SM, Thomas JD (2006) The reproductive seasonality and gametogenic cycle of Acropora cervicornis off Broward County, Florida, USA. Coral Reefs 25:110–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wallace CC (1985) Reproduction, recruitment and fragmentation in nine sympatric species of the coral genus Acropora. Mar Biol 88:217–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wallace CC (1999) Staghorn corals of the world; a revision of the coral genus Acropora (Scleractinia; Astrocoeniina; Acroporidae) worldwide, with emphasis on morphology, phylogeny and biogeography. CSIRO Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
  24. Willis BL, Babcock RC, Harrison PL, Oliver JK, Wallace CC (1985) Patterns in the mass spawning of corals on the Great Barrier Reef from 1981 to 1984. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 4:343–348Google Scholar
  25. Wolstenholme JK (2004) Temporal reproductive isolation and gametic compatibility are evolutionary mechanisms in the Acropora humilis species group (Cnidaria; Scleractinia). Mar Biol 144:567–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Murdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Institute of Marine Science, M096 Botany Biology BuildingThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.RPSSubiacoAustralia

Personalised recommendations