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By Eugene H Kaplan

Portrays the ecology and formation of coral reefs and describes a few of the animals that inhabit the reefs of southern Florida and the Caribbean

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Extra resources for A field guide to coral reefs of the Caribbean and Florida : a guide to the common invertebrates and fishes of Bermuda, the Bahamas, southern Florida, the West Indies, and the Caribbean coast of Central and South America

Sample text

A centrally located nucleus occupies over half of the cell volume. Ova develop within the ovigerous lamellae, which initially extend into the body cavity; but as the ova mature, the lamellar structure is obliterated by growth of the individual ova until they are tightly packed (Larimore 1950). The ovum size increases to between 20 and 30 μm, and about four nucleoli develop in the nucleus. As the ovum grows beyond 60 μm, the early follicular structure proliferates and the nucleus occupies proportionately less of the cell volume.

The zona is surrounded by another compo­ nent, which will form the adhesive layer in the ovulated egg (Cherr & Clark 1985). Vitellogenesis progresses by formation of yolk granules, which gradually replace the cytoplasmic content. As vitellogenesis proceeds, the larger ova become more visible near the ovarian membrane, and the ovarian lamellae become less distinct. During the latter part of ovarian recrudescence, the peripheral pigment of each ova develops, and the germinal vesicle begins its migration toward the animal pole relative to environmental cues and hor­ monal regulation to culminate in the final meiotic maturational division and ovulation.

Actual spawn­ ing temperature is in the range 13–16°C, but spawning can be interrupted by a sudden weather change that drops the temperature to the lower end. Optimal temperatures for embryonic and larval development are in the range 16–20°C; temperatures that are too cool not only prolong the incubation period, but also may adversely affect development, as will temperatures that are too high. The rate of development is also directly related to temperature (Wang et al. 1985; Shelton et al. 1997).

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