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Open Access Content loaded within last 14 days Reproductive traits and their relationship with water temperature in three common octocoral (Anthozoa: Octocoralia) species from the tropical eastern Pacific

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Octocoral species are the main foundation species in rocky-wall coral communities off Pacific Panama; however, little is known about their reproductive biology. The present study quantifies the annual variation of reproductive traits in three common octocoral species from the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean with different colony morphology: the sea whip, Leptogorgia alba (Duchassaing and Michelotti, 1864), the sea rod, Muricea austera Verrill, 1869, and the sea fan, Pacifigorgia ferruginea Breedy and Guzman, 2004. Samples were collected on a monthly basis from March 2015 to February 2016 at a site affected seasonally by upwelling in the Gulf of Panama. The reproductive peak of L. alba experienced a 2-mo delay relative to the coldest period (February), while the reproductive period of M. austera and P. ferruginea occurred 1 mo before the warmest period (July). Muricea austera oocytes were constantly produced, with relative large size and in substantial quantities (approximately 0.34 mm in diameter and about 33 oocytes per polyp). Leptogorgia alba and P. ferruginea had distinct reproductive seasons with fewer (approximately 3 and 2, respectively) and smaller oocytes (approximately 0.05 and 0.22 mm, respectively). Results indicate that the three species are broadcast spawners and that spawning is related to water temperature.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, PO Box 0843-03092, Panama City, Panama;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada 3: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, PO Box 0843-03092, Panama City, Panama

Publication date: 01 October 2018

This article was made available online on 11 April 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Reproductive traits and their relationship with water temperature in three common octocoral (Anthozoa: Octocoralia) species from the tropical eastern Pacific".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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