Evidence of sexually-produced coral recruitment at Gorgona Island, Eastern Tropical Pacific
We present evidence of coral sexual recruitment, which has typically been low in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, on coral reefs and rocky sites of Gorgona Island, Colombia, and for the first time in the Colombian Pacific. With data obtained by thoroughly examining natural substrates, coral juveniles of at least ten species were found at ten out of 19 sites surveyed during scuba diving explorations performed around the island between 2010-2017; however, no corals were found on settlement plates of five different materials. The two most abundant coral species found as juveniles were Porites panamensis and Pocillopora sp., occurring at mean densities of 5.7 ± 4.7 and 0.07 ± 0.11 colonies m-2 (± SD), respectively, and with mean colony-sizes of 2.3 ± 0.9 cm and 3.5 ± 1.0 cm (± SD), respectively. These results indicate that, even though settlement plates do not seem to be as useful to study coral recruitment in the region as they are elsewhere, coral recruitment derived from the sexual reproduction of a diverse set of species is an active process at Gorgona Island.
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