Marine Biology

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 347–351 | Cite as

Temporal patterns of larval settlement and survivorship of two broadcast-spawning acroporid corals

  • Yoko NozawaEmail author
  • Peter L. Harrison
Original Paper


Acroporid corals are the main reef-building corals that provide three-dimensional habitats for other reef organisms, but are decreasing on many reefs worldwide due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In this study, temporal patterns of larval settlement and survivorship of two broadcast-spawning acroporid coral species, Acropora muricata and A. valida, were examined through laboratory rearing experiments to better understand the potential for larval dispersal of this important coral group. Many larvae were attached (but not metamorphosed) to settlement tiles on the first examination 3–4 days after spawning (AS). The first permanent larval settlement (i.e. metamorphosed and permanently settled juvenile polyps) occurred at 5–6 days AS, and most larval settlement (85–97% of total) occurred within 9–10 days AS. Larval survivorship decreased substantially to around 50% by the first week of the experiment and to approximately 10% by the second to third week. The rates of larval attachment, settlement, and the initial drop in survivorship of larvae suggest that effective dispersal of some acroporid species may largely be completed within the first few weeks AS.


Great Barrier Reef Larval Dispersal Natal Reef Acroporid Coral Settlement Tile 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported in part by an Australian Research Council Large Grant to P·H. and a Southern Cross University postgraduate student grant to Y. N. We thank the staff of HIRS and SCU for their hospitality and support. We also thank Dr S. Ward for her help and Prof M. Tokeshi and Dr James D. Reimer for comments on the manuscript. The experiments performed here complied with the current laws of Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Institute on KuroshioOtsukiJapan
  2. 2.Coral Reef Research Centre, School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

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