Coral Community Reproductive Patterns: Red Sea Versus the Great Barrier Reef

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Science  14 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4705, pp. 1333-1335
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4705.1333


In contrast to many corals of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, which are synchronous multispecific spawners, the abundant coral species in the northern Red Sea, Israel, exhibit temporal reproductive isolation. Spawning dates of 12 of the 13 Red Sea species followed lunar periodicity and were consistent throughout 3 years of study. Spawning periods of all species occurred in different seasons, different months, or different lunar phases within the same month. The high abundance of the corals studied at Eilat may be due in part to the advantages gained through not having overlapping spawning periods and settlement times.

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