Spawning of coral reef invertebrates and a second spawning season for scleractinian corals in the central Red Sea
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
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AbstractRecent coral spawning observations in the central Red Sea show that most scleractinian species release their gametes in the spring, with a majority of species spawning in April. There is, however, a lack of reproductive data for several other coral species, as well as a general lack of data for other invertebrates. Here, we document the detailed timing of spawning for 13 scleractinian coral species, one sea anemone, and six echinoderms from an inshore reef off the coast of Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, in the spring between April and June 2014. Furthermore, inferred from the presence of mature gametes, we report the month of spawning for three additional coral species in the spring. Seven scleractinian coral species were inferred to release their gametes in a second reproductive season, in the autumn, between September and November. This is the first report of a second spawning season in the Arabian region. Biannual spawning has so far been reported on the Great Barrier Reef, in Western Australia, in Indonesia, in Malaysia, in Palau, in Thailand, in Taiwan, and in Western Samoa. © 2016, The American Microscopical Society, Inc.
CitationBouwmeester J, Gatins R, Giles EC, Sinclair-Taylor TH, Berumen ML (2016) Spawning of coral reef invertebrates and a second spawning season for scleractinian corals in the central Red Sea. Invertebrate Biology 135: 273–284. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ivb.12129.
SponsorsWe are grateful to all of the night divers who participated in the night-time surveys, with special thanks to Till Rothig for providing us with additional observations from his photographs. We specially thank David Pallett for his time and assistance in the field, and Haitham Al Jahdali and Ramzi Al Jahdali for facilitating the logistics and for their assistance with the coastguard permissions. Many thanks to the crew of the MV KAUST Explorer for their support at the surface and for safely navigating every night through the network of reefs in front of Thuwal. We are particularly grateful to Anna Scott for her help with biopsy methods and with identifying anemone spawning behavior. We also thank Gustav Paulay for invertebrate identification. Finally, we thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions, which improved the article. Funds were provided by KAUST baseline research funding and award CRG-1-BER-002 to MLB.