1 March 2013 Zooxanthellae presence acts as a settlement cue for aposymbiotic planulae of the Caribbean Coral Montastraea faveolata
M. J. A. Vermeij, P. R. Frade, R.P.M. Bak
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Abstract

Settlement of Caribbean coral planulae with and without zooxanthellae was followed in response to four different settlement environments; one harboring zooxanthellae, one harboring crustose coralline algae (CCA) and one containing zooxanthellae and CCA. Aposymbiotic planulae of Montastraea faveolata settled preferably in both environments where zooxanthellae were present. Planulae of Agaricia humilis, that already possessed zooxanthellae through maternal inheritance, showed no preference for either settlement environment. These results suggest that planulae that lack zooxanthellae actively respond to the presence of zooxanthellae upon settlement and preferably settle in areas where zooxanthellae are present. Early successful acquisition of symbionts likely enhances recruitment success as symbionts provide the settler with additional resources to increase survival probabilities and enhance early growth.

Copyright 2013 College of Arts and Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Mayagü ez
M. J. A. Vermeij, P. R. Frade, and R.P.M. Bak "Zooxanthellae presence acts as a settlement cue for aposymbiotic planulae of the Caribbean Coral Montastraea faveolata," Caribbean Journal of Science 47(1), 31-36, (1 March 2013). https://doi.org/10.18475/cjos.v47i1.a4
Published: 1 March 2013
KEYWORDS
Agaricia
Montastraea
recruitment
settlement
Symbiodinium
symbionts
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