[Coral-List] Reproduction in Mesophotic Corals

Daniel Holstein dan.holstein at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 12:04:26 EST 2016

Good Day, Listers,

I’d like to bring to your attention a publication, hot off the presses:

Depth-Independent Reproduction in the Reef Coral Porites astreoides from Shallow to Mesophotic Zones

Daniel M. Holstein1*, Tyler B. Smith2, Claire B. Paris3

1 Marine Biology and Fisheries, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States of America, 2 Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, United States of America, 3 Department of Ocean Sciences, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States of America 


Mesophotic coral ecosystems between 30–150 m may be important refugia habitat for coral reefs and associated benthic communities from climate change and coastal development. However, reduced light at mesophotic depths may present an energetic challenge to the successful reproduction of light-dependent coral organisms, and limit this refugia potential. Here, the relationship of depth and fecundity was investigated in a brooding depth-general- ist scleractinian coral, Porites astreoides from 5–37 m in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) using paraffin tissue histology. Despite a trend of increasing planulae production with depth, no significant differences were found in mean peak planulae density between shallow, mid- depth and mesophotic sites. Differential planulae production over depth is thus controlled by P. astreoides coral cover, which peaks at 10 m and ~35 m in the USVI. These results suggest that mesophotic ecosystems are reproductive refuge for P. astreoides in the USVI, and may behave as refugia for P. astreoides metapopulations providing that vertical larval exchanges are viable.

The full text can be accessed at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146068 <http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146068>  


Daniel M. Holstein, PhD

University of the Virgin Islands
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
#2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, USVI 00802

daniel.holstein at live.uvi.edu <mailto:daniel.holstein at live.uvi.edu>
www.danielmholstein.com <http://www.danielmholstein.com/> 

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