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Reproductive ecology of the deep-sea scleractinian coral Fungiacyathus marenzelleri (Vaughan, 1906) in the northeast Atlantic Ocean

By R.G. Waller, P.A. Tyler and J.D. Gage

Abstract

The reproductive biology and its seasonality were examined in the deep-water, solitary coral Fungiacyathus marenzelleri from 2,200 m depth in the NE Atlantic, using histological techniques. A total of 186 corals were collected using either an Otter trawl (semi-balloon) or Agassiz trawl from the research vessel RRS Challenger between 1979 and 1991. All individuals were gonochoric, with all 48 mesenteries being fertile. A high fecundity was recorded (2,892 ±44.4 oocytes per polyp) with strong size-dependency. This species is a quasi-continuous reproducer with overlapping gametogenesis for both spermacysts and oocytes. No planulae were observed and broadcasting of gametes is inferred, with the large egg size (max. 750-µm diameter) suggesting lecithotrophic development. There is a non-significant trend towards a synchronous spawning event during June/July. Asexual fission was observed, though in low numbers. <br/

Topics: QH301, GC
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:1352
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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