How will future climate changes influence deep sea coral life histories?

Sandra Brooke, Florida State University, Coastal and Marine Lab, Tallahassee, FL, United States and Anthony Sogluizzo, Florida State University, Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Tallahassee, FL, United States
In the western Atlantic, several species of broadcast-spawning deep-sea corals (DSC) show synchrony in their reproductive cycles, with more advanced maturity in the fall than the spring. Off New Zealand, gametogenesis of three species of stony corals (S. variabilis, Enallopsammia rostrata, Goniocorella dumosa) was also synchronized among species, with spawning occurring in April-May; however, S. variabilis from the western Atlantic were immature in May. Synchrony in the timing of reproductive cycles within a location is evidence that common factors are influencing multiple species and location-specific differences in spawning of con-specifics allows identification of those drivers. Understanding reproductive strategy and timing of spawning in deep sea corals can inform studies of connectivity and community resilience, and also has management implications in areas where human activities may damage DSC habitats or negatively affect coral early life history stages. Projected future changes in climate conditions will influence patterns of primary productivity and therefore food delivery to the deep seafloor. These changes may create mis-match between timing of food delivery to the seafloor and energetic needs for reproduction. This presentation will show evidence for spawning synchronicity across different DSC taxa in the western north Atlantic and discuss implications of projected future conditions in this region