[Coral-List] update on Elkhorn coral spawning in Puerto Rico

Dirk Petersen d.petersen at rotterdamzoo.nl
Sun Aug 24 22:40:54 EDT 2008

Dear all,
we observed spawning of the Elkhorn coral A. palmata last week on Wednesday Aug 20 at the Tres Palmas Reserve, Rincon, Puerto Rico. About 80-90% of the population spawned from 21:00 to 21:30 P.M. Colonies released massive numbers of egg sperm bundles - the number of egg/sperm bundels released in this particular night was greater compared to a single night in the past 2 years. We did not observe any spawning on Thursday Aug 21. However, other researchers observed the same population spawning on Tuesday Aug 19. 

We only went once by boat to the A. palmata population at Bajo Gallardo right off the coast of Rincon on Thursday Aug 21 where as well about 80-90% of the corals spawned massively between 21:00-21:30 with some colonies completely covered with egg/sperm bundles. 

We were able to culture about 700.000 viable larvae which will be settled and partly go back to the reef and to the participating institutions for further research. Crypopreserved sperm will be banked in the USA and Europe.

If you want to no more about this impressive spawning event and our work with the gametes and larvae, check the SECORE weblog at www.secore.org. 

Many conservation biologists are concerned about the persistence of the threatened Elkhorn coral such as cryopreservation scientist Mary Hagedorn of the Smithsonian: "...For me this work is as launching a time capsule towards the future..." - read the whole interview with Dr. Hagedorn on the weblog at www.secore.org

Best regards,
Dirk Petersen
Mike Brittsan
Michael Laterveer
Iliana Baums
Mary Hagedorn

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