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Timing of larval release by Porites astreoides in the northern Florida Keys

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 Annual and lunar patterns of larval release by the coral Porites astreoides in the Florida Keys were investigated. Corals were collected monthly and maintained in outdoor, flow-through systems to quantify nightly release of larvae. Planulae were released during a period from 10 days prior to the new moon through 11 days after the new moon, with a peak in release centered on the new moon. The average duration of larval release by a single colony was 9 nights. Although the correlation was low (r=0.292), there was a positive relationship between colony size and number of larvae released. The majority of larval release occurred in April and May, although smaller numbers of larvae were observed from June through as late as September. Larval release appeared to be correlated with the average water temperatures over the 30 days prior to the new moon, peaking when water temperatures were 24.5–27.5 °C.

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Accepted: 3 August 1998

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McGuire, M. Timing of larval release by Porites astreoides in the northern Florida Keys. Coral Reefs 17, 369–375 (1998).

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