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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 205:101-111 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps205101

Sexual reproduction of a low-temperature tolerant coral Oulastrea crispata (Scleractinia, Faviidae) in Hong Kong, China

Katherine K. Y. Lam*

The Swire Institute of Marine Science and Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, The University of Hong Kong, Cape d¹Aguilar, Shek O, Hong Kong, China

ABSTRACT: In December 1993, an experimental artificial reef made of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and concrete was deployed at Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hong Kong. The reproductive biology of Oulastrea crispata, the pioneer species recruited onto the structure, was studied to ascertain its reproductive strategies, including its gametogenic cycle in terms of oocyte and spermary development and timing of planula release. A histological study showed that O. crispata was hermaphroditic and had an annual gametogenic cycle with an extended spawning period from July to October. Planulae were released in the resting period of the gametogenic cycle. With an opportunist life history trait, including a wide range of reproductive strategies, O. crispata is able to colonize a variety of substrata, including those unfavourable to other corals, and to flourish as the pioneer colonizer of newly immersed structures.

KEY WORDS: Coral · Oulastrea crispata · Reproduction · Gametogenesis · Planula release

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