Embryo and larval biology of the deep-sea octocoral Dentomuricea aff. meteor under different temperature regimes.

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From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 10,919 words
Lexile Measure: 1440L

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Abstract :

Deep-sea octocorals are common habitat-formers in deep-sea ecosystems, however, our knowledge on their early life history stages is extremely limited. The present study focuses on the early life history of the species Dentomuricea aff. meteor, a common deep-sea octocoral in the Azores. The objective was to describe the embryo and larval biology of the target species under two temperature regimes, corresponding to the minimum and maximum temperatures in its natural environment during the spawning season. At temperature of 13 ±0.5 °C, embryos of the species reached the planula stage after 96h and displayed a median survival of 11 days. Planulae displayed swimming only after stimulation, swimming speed was 0.24 ±0.16 mm s.sup.-1 and increased slightly but significantly with time. Under a higher temperature (15 °C ±0.5 °C) embryos reached the planula stage 24 h earlier (after 72 h), displayed a median survival of 16 days and had significantly higher swimming speed (0.3 ±0.27 mm s.sup.-1 ). Although the differences in survival were not statistically significant, our results highlight how small changes in temperature can affect embryo and larval characteristics with potential cascading effects in larval dispersal and success. In both temperatures, settlement rates were low and metamorphosis occurred even without settlement. Such information is rarely available for deep-sea corals, although essential to achieve a better understanding of dispersal, connectivity and biogeographical patterns of benthic species.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A670438914