Coral reefs, Coral spawning, Dry Tortugas National Park, Endangered species
In Florida’s remote Dry Tortugas National Park, coral reefs are an important management priority. Reproduction of coral species is difficult to monitor, however, and the reproductive potential of coral colonies at the park has been a matter of concern for several years. Two threatened species, elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), were targeted for observation during their predicted annual spawning event in August 2014. Over a three-night period, both species were observed releasing gametes in near synchrony with observations at other sites in the Florida Keys. That these organisms are capable of being reproductive within the park provides hope for the future of these threatened species in the region.
Karen L. Neely and Tracy A. Ziegler. 2016. Sex on the Reef: Observations of Coral Spawning in Dry Tortugas National Park .Park Science , (1) : 13 -16. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/955.