Larval Settlement of Corals in Flowing Water using a Racetrack Flume
Abstract:Although the larvae of marine invertebrates settle in currents, few studies have examined settlement under flow. We studied the settlement of two brooding coral larvae with different behavior in a flow using a small racetrack flume made of polycarbonate and acrylic (58 cm long). Flow was generated using a digitally controlled gear-motor-driven paddle wheel. The settlement rates of the larvae, Heliopora coerulea and Pocillopora damicornis, were observed at three flow speeds: 1.6, 4.4, and 9.8 cm/sec, which correspond to the currents at low, mean, and ebb or flood tides, respectively, at Shiraho Reef flat, Ishigaki Island, Japan. The settlement rate of H. coerulea larvae decreased with increasing flow speed (20% at 1.6 cm/sec, 2% at 9.8 cm/sec). In contrast, the settlement rate of P. damicornis larvae was high at all flow speeds (> 50% at all flow speeds). This difference in the larval settlement rates of the two species is in accordance with the current conditions in which the adult corals are distributed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2002
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