Coral mass spawning predicted by rapid seasonal rise in ocean temperature
AuthorsKeith, Sally A.
Maynard, Jeffrey A.
Edwards, Alasdair J.
Guest, James R.
Bauman, Andrew G.
van Hooidonk, Ruben
Heron, Scott F.
Berumen, Michael L.
Baird, Andrew H.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCoral spawning times have been linked to multiple environmental factors; however, to what extent these factors act as generalized cues across multiple species and large spatial scales is unknown. We used a unique dataset of coral spawning from 34 reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans to test if month of spawning and peak spawning month in assemblages of Acropora spp. can be predicted by sea surface temperature (SST), photosynthetically available radiation, wind speed, current speed, rainfall or sunset time. Contrary to the classic view that high mean SST initiates coral spawning, we found rapid increases in SST to be the best predictor in both cases (month of spawning: R2 = 0.73, peak: R2 = 0.62). Our findings suggest that a rapid increase in SST provides the dominant proximate cue for coral mass spawning over large geographical scales. We hypothesize that coral spawning is ultimately timed to ensure optimal fertilization success.
CitationKeith SA, Maynard JA, Edwards AJ, Guest JR, Bauman AG, et al. (2016) Coral mass spawning predicted by rapid seasonal rise in ocean temperature. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283: 20160011. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.0011.
SponsorsWe are grateful for funding support from VILLUM FONDEN (S.A.K., grant no. 10114), the Danish National Research Foundation for support to the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (S.A.K., C.R., grant no. DNRF96), the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (A.G.B., S.A.K.), the European Research Commission Marie Curie Actions programme (J.A.M.), the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (M.L.B.) and NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (S.F.H. and R.v.H.).
PublisherThe Royal Society
PubMed Central IDPMC4874704
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