Peer-reviewed by 2 reviewers with median rating of 14.5/20. Review process was triple-blinded.
Round 1 (14.5/20)
Conceptual advance and Impact7
This manuscript describes the patterns of reproduction in two coral species from an isolated reef off northwestern Australia. The observations here make a substantial contribution to a growing database of coral reproductive modes and timings, topics which are of great importance for understanding the future of coral reef ecosystems under climate change. There are a few cosmetic changes described in the specific comments sections that will improve the quality of this manuscript. Once these are implemented, the manuscript will be a strong contribution to Matters.
"contribute to approximately 25% to the coral community" should be changed to either "contribute to approximately 25% OF the coral community" or "compose approximately 25% of the coral community"
It seems strange to make such a strong statement as, "There is currently no information available on times of gametogenesis and planulation for brooding corals on most Western Australian reefs" because just above in the introduction the authors describe some of the patterns of brooding Pocillopora corals in Rottnest Island (Western Australia).
Additionally, the statement "For example, reproduction and recruitment in brooding corals may be less impacted by pulse disturbance events (such as coral bleaching) than broadcast spawning corals" is intriguing, but it should be supported either by a reference or explanation as to why this may be the case.
Finally, perhaps there can be a smoother transition to the final sentence in this section. The motivation is clear and well written, but there is no transition words to clearly link this motivation to what was done in this study.
Results & Discussion
At the start of the last paragraph, "This data provides" should be changed to "These data provide"
Also in last paragraph, be careful saying frequency of disturbances is increasing on all reefs. Saying "most reefs" would be more conservative.
It would be very helpful to provide an example histological section as a Figure to show how the eggs and testes were identified.
Conceptual advance and Impact4
This manuscript is methodologically and technically sound. Despite the connection that the authors have made to global change, this observation seems to me to be more of local interest than contributing conceptually to knowledge about coral reproduction.