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The reproductive ecology of the invasive ascidian, Styela clava, in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand
Wong, N.A.; McClary, D.; Sewell, M.A. (2011). The reproductive ecology of the invasive ascidian, Styela clava, in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(12): 2775-2785.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Wong, N.A.
  • McClary, D.
  • Sewell, M.A.

    The ascidian Styela clava, native to the north-west Pacific, is an invasive species affecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems, biodiversity and aquaculture operations. To provide detailed information on the reproductive biology of S. clava in New Zealand for post-border biosecurity management, long-term seasonal patterns of gametogenesis were determined from May 2006 to May 2008 in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour (36°49'20?S, 174°45'85?E). Of particular interest was whether the critical 15°C threshold spawning temperature for reproduction observed in the Northern Hemisphere applied here to the first Southern Hemisphere study. S. clava gametogenesis followed a regular seasonal cycle with ripe gametes appearing as early as September and persisting to June; this time frame corresponds to the period when sea surface temperatures in the region first reach 15°C and with spawning occurring mainly during late summer to early autumn. From photoperiod manipulation, it was determined that spawning occurred at approximately 18:20. The extended reproductive period and a short generation time in the Waitemata Harbour provides a lengthy opportunity for S. clava to spread. Findings are discussed in relation to S. clava’s post-border management.

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