Acropora digitifera coral synchronized sprawling

10 Dec 2015

Full moon nights in summer are very special for corals. At 10 p.m., when water is around 24°C (75°F), Acropora digitifera corals in the southernmost part of Japan start to release their eggs and sperm, known as gametes, exactly at the same time in a process called synchronized spawning.

Since corals cannot move to find a partner, they let their reproductive cells free float in the ocean, hoping for an encounter. Understanding how the resulting newborn coral larvae migrate and settle is crucial to protect our beautiful coral reef.

Credit: Dr Chuya Shinzato

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