[Coral-List] Coral spawning observations (August) - Flower Garden Banks NMS, northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Emma Hickerson emma.hickerson at noaa.gov
Thu Aug 16 14:16:24 EDT 2012

Coral spawning was observed August 7-9, 2012 at the East and West
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the northwestern Gulf
of Mexico.  Observations were made by 10 divers from FGBNMS research
team, University of Texas, and University of Oregon. In general the
spawning event was not as succinct an event as previously observed
events.  Montastraea franksi and Diploria strigosa typically spawn on
the same evening, however, during this event, M. franksi primarily
spawned on August 8, 2012, and D. strigosa spawned on August 9, 2012.
Unlike previous years, no brittle stars were observed spawning,
however many were out feeding on gamete bundles. Conditions on surface
were 0-1' seas, slight current.  A very strong surge was experienced
at depth during the period of the cruise.

Water temperature:

East Flower Garden Bank
Surface 30.5C / 86.9F
20m       30.2C / 86.4F

West Flower Garden Bank
Surface 30.3C / 86.5F
20m       30.5C / 86.9F

August 7, 2012
East Flower Garden Bank buoy #5

2030-2302 Sparse release of gametes from ~6 undetermined sources
2145-2302 Diploria strigosa (3 colonies, small release)
2142 Montastraea franksi (1 colony)

August 8, 2012 (predicted primary spawning event)
East Flower Garden Bank buoy #5
2050 Montastraea cavernosa female (1 colony)
2050 M. cavernosa male (3 colonies)
2120-2230 Montastraea franksi estimated approximately 75% of colonies
spawning (48 colonies)
2043-2230 Diploria strigosa (20 colonies)
~2200 Montastraea faveolata (12 colonies)

August 9, 2012
West Flower Garden Bank buoy#4
1936-2020 Montastraea cavernosa male (7 colonies)
1936-2100 M. cavernosa female (2 colonies)
2020-2110 Diploria strigosa (30 colonies)
2130-2230 Montastraea franksi (10 colonies)

Spirobranchus giganteus, both male and female Christmas tree worms,
were observed spawning on the evening August 9 during the night dive,
although the surge made it very difficult to observe.

Xestospongia muta, both male and female giant barrel sponges were
observed spawning around 0945 on August 8, 2012.

A second spawn is predicted to take place September 6-9, 2012.

FGBNMS Research Team
Emma Hickerson
G.P. Schmahl
Marissa Nuttall
John Embesi
Ryan Eckert
Michelle Johnston

University of Texas
Sarah Davies
Damien Caillaud
Carly Kenkel

University of Oregon
Eli Meyer

Emma L. Hickerson
Flower Garden Banks NMS
Research Coordinator
4700 Ave. U, Bldg 216
Galveston, TX 77551
409-621-5151 ext. 111
979-777-3895 cell
emma.hickerson at noaa.gov

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