[Coral-List] Proliferation of Acropora prolifera

Fautin, Daphne G. fautin at ku.edu
Tue Sep 3 12:31:41 EDT 2013

Dear Colleagues,

I spoke about precisely this matter in a keynote talk at the ICCB in 1996. The citation is Fautin, Daphne Gail. 1997. Cnidarian reproduction: assumptions and their implications. Pages 151-162 in Coelenterate Biology: Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Coelenterate Biology, J. C. den Hartog, editor. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, Leiden.  Because attachments do not go through on this list serve, here is the URL (it and PDFs of most of my publications are available on this site, my home page): http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/daphne.html.

The short answer is, if asexual reproduction is possible, sexual creation of the hybrids need seldom occur.  In evolutionary time, sexual reproduction might be important, but in ecological time, it may not be.  (And this paper may be the first published analogy of these hybrids to mules -- although hybrids of many species are not sterile.)


Daphne G. Fautin
Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Curator, Natural History Museum (Biodiversity Institute)
University of Kansas
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045 USA

telephone 1-785-864-3062
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website: invertebratezoology.biodiversity.ku.edu/home
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    database of hexacorals, including sea anemones
       newest version released 2 January 2013

From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of Dennis Hubbard [dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:12 AM
To: vassil zlatarski
Cc: Nicole Fogarty; Coral -List
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Proliferation of Acropora prolifera

At the risk of displaying my ignorance as a geologist, am I correct that A.
prolifera cannot reproduce sexually (nature's version of an army mule)? I'd
be interested in an informed discussion of the reproductive pathways that
might produce this result. If, in fact, there must be other acroporids
involved, then there must be enough of them to increase the numbers of this
hybrid species. In this scenario, is the fact that hybridization seems to
be trumping within-species sexual reproduction significant and, if so, what
might it be telling us. Or, is it it just fragmentation gone wild.

Inquiring minds want to know,


On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 8:24 AM, vassil zlatarski <vzlatarski at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> It is surprising that in this period of degradation of the coral reefs the
> Caribbean hybrid Acropora prolifera is proliferating during last four
> decades. This counter-intuitive trend is evident due to the facts that the
> hybrid was found lately in more places, in larger quantity of colonies and
> in various growth forms.I would greatly appreciate anyinformation and
> advise on this matter.
> Also, any data aboutfossilA. prolifera?
> Thanks in advance!
> Cheers,
> Vassil
> Vassil Zlatarski
> D.Sc. (Biology), Ph.D. (Geology)
> 131 Fales Rd., Bristol, RI 02809, USA;  tel.:
>  +1-401-254-5121
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Dennis Hubbard
Chair, Dept of Geology-Oberlin College Oberlin OH 44074
(440) 775-8346

* "When you get on the wrong train.... every stop is the wrong stop"*
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