Latitudinal variation in monthly-scale reproductive synchrony among Acropora coral assemblages in the Indo-Pacific

Jessica Bouwmeester, Alasdair J. Edwards, James R. Guest, Andrew G. Bauman, Michael L. Berumen, Andrew H. Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Early research into coral reproductive biology suggested that spawning synchrony was driven by variations in the amplitude of environmental variables that are correlated with latitude, with synchrony predicted to break down at lower latitudes. More recent research has revealed that synchronous spawning, both within and among species, is a feature of all speciose coral assemblages, including equatorial reefs. Nonetheless, considerable variation in reproductive synchrony exists among locations and the hypothesis that the extent of spawning synchrony is correlated with latitude has not been formally tested on a large scale. Here, we use data from 90 sites throughout the Indo-Pacific and a quantitative index of reproductive synchrony applied at a monthly scale to demonstrate that, despite considerable spatial and temporal variation, there is no correlation between latitude and reproductive synchrony. Considering the critical role that successful reproduction plays in the persistence and recovery of coral reefs, research is urgently needed to understand the drivers underpinning variation in reproductive synchrony
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCoral Reefs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-06-17
Acknowledgements: Financial support was provided by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (AHB), the Singapore National Research Foundation (AGB, MSRDP-P03) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) baseline research funding (MLB).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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