MEPS 190:297-301 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps190297

Reproductive plasticity in the reef coral Echinopora lamellosa

Tung-Yung Fan1,2, Chang-Feng Dai1,*

1Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
2National Museum of Biology and Aquarium, 2 Houwan Road, Checheng, Pingtung 944, Taiwan, ROC
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The reproductive timing and mature egg size of the reef coral Echinopora lamellosa were different between the northern Taiwan and southern Taiwan populations. A reciprocal transplant experiment was conducted to study the influences of environment on the observed differences in reproductive traits between the 2 populations. The reproductive timing of the transplanted colonies in southern Taiwan and mature egg size of the transplanted colonies in both northern and southern Taiwan changed, compared to those of the original populations. This suggests that these reproductive traits are plastic and environmental factors may play an important role in regulating them. Furthermore, the growth of early stage oocytes was faster and the spawning began 2 mo earlier in the transplanted southern Taiwan colonies than those of the original populations in northern Taiwan. This suggests that the timing of reproductive activity of the transplanted E. lamellosa in southern Taiwan may be accelerated by the warmer seawater temperature.

KEY WORDS: Reproductive timing · Egg size · Phenotypic plasticity · Reciprocal transplant experiment · Reef coral

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