Patterns of fertility in the two Red Sea Corals Stylophora pistillata and Acropora humilis

MOHAMMED S.A. AMMAR, AHMED H. OBUID-ALLAH, MONTASER A.M. AL-HAMMADY

Abstract. Ammar MSA Obuid-Allah AH, Al-Hammady MAM. 2012. Patterns of fertility in the two Red Sea Corals Stylophora pistillata and Acropora humilis. Nusantara Bioscience 4: 62-75. Patterns of fertilities (total testes and total eggs) for the hermatypic coral Acropora humilis were lower than those in Stylophora pistillata at the four studied sites. Site 3 (El-Hamraween harbor), the site impacted with phosphate, recorded the highest annual mean of testes number and egg number in the two studied species Acropora humilis and S. pistillata. However, site 1, the site impacted with oil pollution and fishing activities, recorded the lowest annual mean of testes number, total testes, egg number and total egg for the two studied species. Thus, phosphorus enrichment seems to be considerably less destructive than oil pollution, and thus may represent an ‘eco-friendly’. Testes were observed full of sperms during winter season in the sectioned polyps of A. humilis, while eggs were detected during autumn and winter. However, the lack of eggs in S. pistillata occurred only during spring season at all the studied sites. In the studied coral species, the ova were developed first before spermeria. The breeding season of coral reefs differs in both different localities and different species extending from December to July in the northern Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba and Southern Red Sea (the present study). While in A. humilis, the breeding season extend from February to June in the Great Barrier Reef, in the Gulf of Aqaba and in Hurghada (the present study). Tough control, public awareness and continuous shore patrolling to the activities of oil pollution and fishing activities at the vicinity of site 1 (Ras El-Behar) are urgent. Although existing corals may continue to grow and survive in an area with elevated nutrients levels, it is essential to maintain water quality on coral reefs within ecologically appropriate limits to ensure successful reproduction of coral and provide recruits for the long- term maintenance and renewal of coral populations.

 

Key words: fertility, Red Sea, corals, Stylophora pistillata, Acropora humilis

 

Abstrak. Ammar MSA Obuid-Allah AH, Al-Hammady MAM. 2012. Pola kesuburan pada dua karang dari Laut Merah Stylophora pistillata dan Acropora humilis. Nusantara Bioscience 4: 62-75. Pola fertilitas (testis total dan telur total) untuk karang hermatypic Acropora humilis lebih rendah daripada Stylophora pistillata di empat lokasi penelitian. Situs 3 (Pelabuhan El-Hamraween), lokasi yang terdampak dengan fosfat, tercatat memiliki rata-rata tahunan tertinggi jumlah testis dan jumlah telur pada dua spesies yang dipelajari A. humilis dan S. pistillata. Namun, situs 1, lokasi yang terdampak dengan pemcemaran minyak dan kegiatan penangkapan ikan, tercatat memiliki rata-rata tahunan terendah dari jumlah testis, testis total, jumlah telur dan telur total untuk dua spesies yang dipelajari. Dengan demikian, pengayaan fosfor tampaknya jauh kurang destruktif daripada pemcemaran minyak, sehingga dapat dianggap ‘ramah lingkungan’. Testis yang diamati penuh sperma selama musim musim dingin pada polip A. humilis yang dibelah, sedangkan telur terdeteksi selama musim gugur dan musim dingin. Namun, ketiadaan telur pada S. pistillata hanya terjadi selama musim semi di semua lokasi penelitian. Pada spesies karang yang diteliti, ovum terbentuk lebih dahulu sebelum spermeria. Musim perkembangbiakan terumbu karang berbeda baik katrena perbedaan lokasi maupun spesies, terjadi dari Desember hingga Juli di Laut Merah bagian utara, Teluk Aqaba dan Laut Merah bagian selatan (lokasi penelitian ini). Sementara pada A. humilis, musim perkembangbiakan terjadi dari Pebruari hingga Juni di Great Barrier Reef, Teluk Aqaba dan di Hurghada (lokasi penelitian ini). Kontrol yang ketat, kesadaran masyarakat dan patroli pantai terus menerus terhadap kegiatan pencemaran minyak dan penangkapan ikan di sekitar lokasi 1 (Tanjung Ras El-Behar) sangat mendesak. Meskipun karang yang ada dapat terus tumbuh dan bertahan hidup di daerah dengan tingkat nutrisi yang meningkat, adalah penting untuk mempertahankan kualitas air pada terumbu karang dalam batas-batas ekologis yang tepat untuk menjamin keberhasilan reproduksi karang dan memberikan sumber bibit untuk pemeliharaan jangka panjang dan pembaharuan populasi karang.

 

Kata kunci: kesuburan, Laut Merah, karang, Stylophora pistillata, Acropora humilis

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