Coral spawning is one of the reef’s great mysteries. Once or several times a year (depending on the species), all the corals in a particular area will release their eggs and sperm on the same night — but scientists haven’t been able to identify a definitive clue for how they coordinate their calendars.
Smithsonian scientist Nancy Knowlton studies coral spawning and how coral bleaching affects the animals’ ability to spawn. Read about her research in Panama! http://ocean.si.edu/blog/tale-sex-and-stress-ocean
Photo credit: Kristina Dickson/ USFWS