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Effects of seasonality on the reproductive cycle of Diadema aff. antillarum in two contrasting habitats: implications for the establishment of a sea urchin fishery
Hernández, J.C.; Clemente, S.; Brito, A. (2011). Effects of seasonality on the reproductive cycle of Diadema aff. antillarum in two contrasting habitats: implications for the establishment of a sea urchin fishery. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158: 2603-2615. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1761-0
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hernández, J.C.
  • Clemente, S.
  • Brito, A.

Abstract
    Reproduction of Diadema aff. antillarum was examined between 2002 and 2005 at subtidal rocky bottoms around the Canary Islands. Two contrasting habitats (urchin barrens and grazing fronts) characterized by different levels of food availability were chosen, and factors thought to influence reproductive periodicity were monitored, including temperature, photoperiod, phytoplankton abundance and benthic food availability. Histological analyses showed that D. aff. antillarum had an annual reproductive cycle that was relatively synchronous across the studied sites and habitats. Photoperiod was the most significant factor that correlated with gonad periodicity; benthic food availability of 2 month lag was also correlated. However, some differences were detected between males and females in the timing of the onset of gametogenesis. Spawning was synchronized between both sexes from June to August. Results suggest that the optimum time of year to harvest urchin gonads would be between May and June when gonads were maximal in size but not full of gametes. This species may not provide optimal conditions for an industrial scale fishery, as sea urchins occurring in high density had small gonads and those producing larger volume or more marketable gonad tissue occurred in low densities where harvesting costs would exceed profit.

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