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1 June 2005 Intraspecific Contact and Egg Production in the Massive Coral Goniastrea Aspera in Okinawa, Subtropical Japan
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Abstract

The effect of intraspecific contact (Contact) on egg production was examined in the massive coral Goniastrea aspera in Okinawa, subtropical Japan. The contact was non-aggressive without damaging soft tissues each other. Within Contact colonies, polyp volume, polyp fertility (%polyps with gonad), and NE/PV (number of eggs per polyp volume) were significantly smaller in marginal (Mg) polyps without direct intraspecific contact than other polyps, but no difference was found between non-marginal and Mg-Contact (marginal with direct intraspecific contact) polyps. Comparisons of non-marginal polyps (non-marginal and Mg-Contact polyps were combined in Contact colonies) between Non-Contact and Contact colonies showed that fertility and NE/PV were significantly larger in Contact colonies than in Non-Contact colonies, but polyp volume were not different significantly. Further analyses dividing colonies at Non-Contact maturation colony size (60 polyps) revealed that fertility and NE/PV were significantly larger in Contact colonies than in Non-Contact colonies only in the small colonies (<60 polyps), indicating that the intraspecific contact promoted sexual maturation at smaller colony size; one polyped Contact coral was also reproductive. The lack of correlation between polyp volume and NE/PV in the small Contact colonies, and the similarity of NE/PV in non-marginal and Mg-Contact polyps within a colony, suggest that the maturation at smaller size in Contact colonies is realized by reproductive integration of polyps at the colony level. The present results show that size-structured populations such as colonial corals may show phenotypic diversity in key demographic parameters, such as reproductive output, dependent on ecological conditions.

Kazuhiko Sakai "Intraspecific Contact and Egg Production in the Massive Coral Goniastrea Aspera in Okinawa, Subtropical Japan," Zoological Science 22(6), 659-664, (1 June 2005). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.22.659
Received: 14 January 2005; Accepted: 1 May 2005; Published: 1 June 2005
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