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Sexual reproduction of three coral species from the Mexican South Pacific
Rodriguez-Troncoso, A.P.; Carpizo-Ituarte, E.; Leyte-Morales, G.E.; Chi-Barragan, G.; Tapia-Vazquez, O. (2011). Sexual reproduction of three coral species from the Mexican South Pacific. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(12): 2673-2683.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Rodriguez-Troncoso, A.P.
  • Carpizo-Ituarte, E.
  • Leyte-Morales, G.E.
  • Chi-Barragan, G.
  • Tapia-Vazquez, O.

    Our understanding of the reproductive biology of corals from the Mexican southeastern Pacific is limited, and consequently, the role of reproduction in structuring coral communities is unclear. As a first attempt to understand the importance of sexual reproduction in structuring and maintaining of the coral communities from this region, we documented the reproductive cycles over 2 years (2003–2004) in three main reef-building corals species in the region. Pocillopora damicornis was shown to be hermaphroditic with asynchronous gamete development observed only in 2004; P. gigantea was characterized as both gonochoric and cosexually hermaphroditic. Absence of mature gametes was documented in both species, and an observation may be attributed to the 2003 El Niño Southern Oscillation event, which may have inhibited reproductive maturation via thermal stress. Porites panamensis was gonochoric with asynchronous development, and planulae were generally brooded. The presence of mature gametes and planulae in P. panamensis polyps suggests that this species is an important contributor to local and, likely, regional recruitment of this species. Further research should seek to identify important source populations for these coral recruits and document the exchange of larvae between coral populations of the Mexican Pacific.

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