[Coral-List] coral spawning in the Florida Keys

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Wed Aug 18 00:01:07 EDT 2004

Hello All:
I'd like to add a small correction to Mark's email:  The first night we saw spawning was 4 nights after the July full moon, on Wednesday Aug 4th, (not Thursday Aug 5 th), when we had heavy spawning from a large patch of Acropora palmata on Horseshoe Reef , Key Largo FL, moderate spawning on a small patch of A. palmata on Key Largo Dry Rocks, and substantial spawning from two patches on the back side of Little Grecian.  On Horseshoe Reef, bundle setting was observed earlier than usual (already setting at 9:30 pm) but bundle release began at the usual time (ca. 10:15 pm) and was over by 10:45.  The observations Marks reports for the following nights were for Aug 5th and 6th (not 6 and 7).
We were able to collect large quantities of spawn from the 3 sites, make crosses between sites, and we have reared several hundred thousand  A. palmata larvae which are being used for a range of studies of larval behavior, settlement behavior, attraction to crustose corallines, genomics studies of establishment of symbiosis, as well as re-seeding/restoration efforts of grounding sites.  We will be repeating this effort and more during the first week in September with the Montastraea spp.
These efforts represent a collaboration between Dr. Margaret Miller at NOAA Fisheries SE Science Center, Dr. Monica Medina at JGI, Dr. Mary Alice Coffroth at SUNY Buffalo, myself, and all of the research associates, students, etc in our respective labs, with lots of help from the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary [thank you John Halas and Bill Valley].
I have seen some reports of spawning observations on Coral-List from other locations, and would welcome hearing about any others out there.  We are expecting the Montastraea group to go off on Sept 4-5, but as usual always go out the night before just in case.  Acropora will likely spawn again in Sept (keep an eye out for Sept 1-3) based on previous experience.
Alina Szmant
Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Coral Reef Research Group
UNCW-Center for Marine Science 
Presently in Field:  371 Bahia Dr, Key Largo FL 33037
Tel & Fax:  (305)453-4792
Cell:  (910)200-3913
email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta


From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Mark Vermeij
Sent: Tue 8/17/2004 9:09 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] coral spawning in the Florida Keys

Dear List,

An impressive August spawning occurred in the Florida Keys on the
nights of the 5th to the 7th:

Thursday August 5: A. palmata bundles set around 21h15, release
between 22h30 and 23h00 (Little Grecian Reef, Key Largo). Colonies at
shallower depth (<2m) seemed to spawn later than the ones deeper
(approx. 5m). Around 70% of the colonies released gametes.

Friday August 6: Two male M. cavernosa colonies were observed
releasing sperm at 21h30. A. palmata bundles set around 21h30, and
release occurred between 22h00 and 23h00. Approx. 80-90% of the
colonies released gametes at this site (Horsheshoe Reef, Key Largo).
Bundles were observed in small patches on several M. faveolata
colonies around 23h30 (10% of the population).

Saturday August 7: 23h15 Bundles set in M. faveolata colonies, with
subsequent spawning around 23h45. (Key Largo Dry Rocks). Approx. 30%
of the M. faveolata colonies was observed releasing gametes. Earlier
the same night (around 22h00) mearly all gorgonians of the species 
Plexaura flexuosa and a Eunicea sp. were observed releasing what
looked like 1mm long planulae/embryo's.

Best regards,

Dana Williams
Lyza Johnston
Illiana Baums
Mark Vermeij


Dr. M. Vermeij
Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS)
Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS,
University of Miami)
NOAA Southeast Science Fisheries Center
75 Virginia Beach Dr
Miami, FL 33149 U.S.A.

mark.vermeij at noaa.gov
tel +1 305 3614230
tel +1 305 3614609
fax +1 305 3614499

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