Larval Development and Population Aspects of the Reef-Building Polychaete Phragmatopoma lapidosa from the East Coast of Florida
Abstract:The larval development and population biology of the reef-building polychaete, Phragmatopoma lapidosa, were investigated during 28 months of observations at two reef localities on the central east coast of Florida. The growth rate was estimated by measuring the body lengths and tube diameters of specimens collected monthly, following larval settlements on the reefs. Larval settlement under laboratory conditions occurred 14 to 30 days after fertilization. Temperature studies indicated that optimal larval development occurred between 24 and 26°C with only 50% of the larvae developing at 15.5°C and 29.5°C. Larval settlements were observed on only four occasions in the field during the study period and three types of settlement patterns were observed. Juveniles developed sex products about 6-8 weeks after settlement and artificially-fertilized eggs shed from juveniles 4 months after settlement produced normal larvae. Data from laboratory spawnings and fertilizations, observations of field settlements, and the presence of larvae in the plankton suggest that some segments of the population may be spawning during most of the year in southern Florida.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1976-04-01
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