Reproductive biology of deep-sea soft corals in the Newfoundland and Labrador region

Sun, Zhao (2009) Reproductive biology of deep-sea soft corals in the Newfoundland and Labrador region. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This research integrates processing of preserved samples and, for the first time, long-term monitoring of live colonies and the study of planula behaviour and settlement preferences in four deep-sea brooding octocorals (Alcyonacea: Nephtheidae). Results indicate that reproduction can be correlated to bottom temperature, photoperiod, wind speed and fluctuations in phytoplankton abundance. Large planula larvae are polymorphic, exhibit substratum selectivity and can fuse together or with a parent colony. Planulae of two Drifa species are also able to metamorphose in the water column before settlement. This research thus brings evidence of both the resilience (i.e., extended breeding period, demersal larvae with a long competency period) and vulnerability (i.e., substratum selectivity, slow growth) of deep-water corals; and open up new perspectives on experimental studies of deep-sea organisms.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8880
Item ID: 8880
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Alcyonacea--Development--Newfoundland and Labrador; Alcyonacea--Habitat--Newfoundland and Labrador; Alcyonacea--Newfoundland and Labrador--Reproduction

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