Sexual Reproductive Patterns of Shallow-water Reef Corals in Panama
Abstract:Patterns of sexual reproduction were studied in 11 species of shallow-water, scleractinian corals at 9°N latitude on the Atlantic coast of Panama between July 1987 and August 1988. Seven of these species presumably broadcast gametes in August–September during a period of gradual decline in seawater temperature, whereas four others brood planula larvae throughout the year. Among the four brooders, only the hermaphroditic Favia fragum (which is suspected to engage in self-fertilization) has a high frequency both of brooding colonies and of brooding polyps within fertile colonies, and a well-developed lunar planulation cycle. No evidence of intraspecific, geographic variation in reproductive characters was found in any species for which there are comparable data at other localities in the western Atlantic. Among the four gonochoric species, Siderastrea radians had a sex ratio biased toward females on all sampled reefs. Sex ratios of the branching Porites furcata were biased on individual reefs, yet overall did not deviate from 1:1. The sex ratios of Montastraea cavernosa and Siderastrea siderea are about 1:1 on each sampled reef.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 1991
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