Reproductive traits and their relationship with water temperature in three common octocoral (Anthozoa: Octocoralia) species from the tropical eastern Pacific
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
Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, PO Box 0843-03092, Panama City, Panama;, Email: [email protected]
Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1, Canada
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, PO Box 0843-03092, Panama City, Panama
Publication date: October 1, 2018
This article was made available online on April 11, 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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