Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

High Fertilization Success in a Surface-Brooding Caribbean Gorgonian

Howard R. Lasker
Biological Bulletin
Vol. 210, No. 1 (Feb., 2006), pp. 10-17
DOI: 10.2307/4134532
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4134532
Page Count: 8
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
High Fertilization Success in a Surface-Brooding Caribbean Gorgonian
Preview not available

Abstract

Colonies of the Caribbean gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae release eggs that are retained on the colony surface where they are fertilized and then develop. In December 2001, spawning on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, occurred over 6 d, with spawning by any one colony limited to 1-3 d. With the exception of the first and last days of the spawning period, fertilization success was high, often greater than 90%. Eggs collected in December 2001 had an overall fertilization success of more than 66%. At one site, the increase in fertilization after the first day of spawning correlated with male spawning, but male gonad index was a poor predictor of fertilization success. The number of male colonies close to a female was not correlated with fertilization success. Surface brooding is an efficient mechanism for "harvesting" sperm released upstream of female colonies. By maintaining their eggs at a single location, surface-brooding species can extend the period over which eggs are likely to encounter sperm. As a result, fertilization success is summed across the temporal variance in sperm availability, and the need for very high densities of sperm, with its concomitant risk of polyspermy, may be reduced.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17