Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Alasdair Edwards,
Dr James Guest
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Coral 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.
Author(s): Keith SA, Maynard JA, Edwards AJ, Guest JR, Bauman AG, VanHooidonk R, Heron SF, Berumen ML, Bouwmeester J, Piromvaragorn S, Rahbek C, Baird AH
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Print publication date: 01/05/2016
Online publication date: 11/05/2016
Acceptance date: 18/04/2016
ISSN (print): 0962-8452
ISSN (electronic): 1471-2954
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
PubMed id: 27170709
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