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The reproductive biology of closely related coral species: gametogenesis in Madracis from the southern Caribbean


, : The reproductive biology of closely related coral species: gametogenesis in Madracis from the southern Caribbean. Coral Reefs 23(2): 206-214

Reproductive patterns were studied in closely related coral species of the genus Madracis on Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Gonadal development of six sympatric species was examined over a 13-month period. Reproductive differences among Madracis species are small. All species are hermaphroditic brooders and show similar patterns in gamete development. Timing of gamete maturation is positively correlated with seawater temperature in all species. Oocyte development typically begins in June and precedes the development of spermaries. Mature gametes, male and female, are present from August to November when seawater temperatures reach their yearly maximum. Developmental pathways for male and female gametes are identical among species. Interspecific differences exist in the number and size of oocytes. Our data indicates that differences in gametogenic development between closely related, but ecologically different subspecies are small or absent and do not necessarily match with species separations based on morphological criteria.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1007/s00338-004-0368-z


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