Reproductive biology of key habitat-forming cold-water corals in the Azores Archipelago
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AuthorsOrejas, C. (Covadonga); Rakka, M. (Maria); Sampaio, I.; Monteiro, J.; Parra, H.; Carreiro-Silva, M. (Marina)
KeywordsCold-water corals (CWC)
In the Azores, gorgonians and antipatharians are the most frequent habitat-builders, making up more than twenty different types of the so called “coral gardens” that are found between 20 and 3,500 m depth. Despite their importance as ecosystem engineers, there is no information about their basic biology which is a basic step for ecological studies and fundamental to be able to establish suitable management and conservation measurements, adapted to the characteristics and biological dynamics of species and populations. This paper describes the reproductive strategy, gametogenic cycle and reproductive timing of one antipatharian species: Antipathella wollastoni, and three octocoral species: Callogorgia verticillata, Paracalyptrophora josephinae and Dentomuricea meteor. Antipathella wollatoni is an antipatharian species endemic to the Macaronesia, encountered in depths between 20-900 m. Sampling of this species was performed monthly on six tagged colonies during one year and specimens were ...
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