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Observations on the population dynamics of Amphiura filiformis (Ophiuroidea: Echinodermata) in the southern North Sea and its exploitation by the dab, Limanda limanda
Duineveld, G.C.A.; Van Noort, G.J. (1986). Observations on the population dynamics of Amphiura filiformis (Ophiuroidea: Echinodermata) in the southern North Sea and its exploitation by the dab, Limanda limanda. Neth. J. Sea Res. 20(1): 85-94
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Duineveld, G.C.A., more
  • Van Noort, G.J.

Abstract
    Density and growth of an Amphiura filiformis population living at a station in the Oyster Ground (southern North Sea) were monitored during 2 successive years (1982-1984). During this period, the density of adult animals (disk size > 4 mm) was constant and they numerically dominated the 1 mm sieve fraction of the samples. The size distribution of these adults was nearly constant and year classes were not discernable among these larger individuals. Annual recruitment was observed, but growth and survival rates of juveniles were low. During their first year, the disk size of recruits increased from 0.3 to 1.2 mm, and to 2.2 mm in their second year. Approximately 10% of the recruits of the 1982 year class survived the first 8 months. Of the recruits of the 1983 year class only 3% survived after 9 months. Consequently, the contribution by juveniles to the annual production of body tissue was small during the observation period. Adult somatic growth could not be assessed due to the apparent lack of disk growth. Regenerating arms, however, were very common among the larger individuals. Only 4% of the individuals in a sample had intact arms, whereas 55% of the animals (or 20% of all arms) had one or more 'recent' distal regenerations distinguishable by their smaller diameter. These regenerations presumably account for a large part of the annual growth and somatic production. Stomach content analysis of demersal fish in this area suggests that Amphiura arms form an important part of the diet of the dab, Limanda limanda. Annual consumption of Amphiura arms by dab was estimated to be 0.84 g wet weight·m-2, which is equivalent to 420 arms or 6% of the arm population. Considering the large number of adult animals in the population and regeneration capabilities of the species, the grazing by dab will have only little if any effect on the population.

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