Title

Polyp bail-out by the coral Astroides calycularis (Scleractinia, Dendrophylliidae)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Springer Verlag

School

School of Science / Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research

RAS ID

24939

Grant Number

ARC Number : DE170101524

Comments

Originally published as: Serrano, E., Coma, R., Inostroza, K. & Serrano, O. (2017). Marine Biodiversity, 1-5. doi: 10.1007/s12526-017-0647-x. Original article available here

Note: This is an "Article In Press" at the point when this record was created.

Abstract

Knowledge of reproductive biology is essential for ecological studies on coral population dynamics. The azooxanthellate colonial coral Astroides calycularis is endemic to the western Mediterranean Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts. Specimens of this species in artificial conditions, an aquarium with enclosed seawater and low food availability, appeared to show an asexual dispersal mechanism. This mechanism consisted of the detachment and release of single, skeletonless polyps from the underlying colony skeleton (i.e., polyp bail-out). While the released free-living polyps regularly showed extended tentacles and most of them survived, they did not show re-attachment to the substrate or any skeleton formation until the end of the experiment, ∼2–3 months after bail-out. Formation of new reproductive colonies, thereby the eventual completion of asexual reproduction through polyp bail-out in A. calycularis, still needs to be confirmed. In addition to sexual reproduction, polyp bail-out may constitute an alternative propagation mechanism during periods of environmental stress, thereby potentially increasing the survival rate of the parental genotype and the dispersal by drifting soft polyps. © 2017 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

DOI

10.1007/s12526-017-0647-x

Access Rights

Free to read at publisher's website

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