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Settlement, recruitment and potential predators and competitors of juvenile echinoderms in the rocky subtidal zone
Jennings, L.B.; Hunt, H.L. (2010). Settlement, recruitment and potential predators and competitors of juvenile echinoderms in the rocky subtidal zone. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(2): 307-316.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Jennings, L.B.
  • Hunt, H.L.

    Recruitment patterns of marine invertebrates are affected both by settlement and early post-settlement events. This study examined the settlement and recruitment patterns of echinoderms at three sites in the rocky subtidal zone of Bocabec Cove, Bay of Fundy, Canada using artificial turf collectors and quadrats on the natural substrate. Potential predators were quantified at two of the sites along transects and in 1-m2 quadrats. Both potential predators and competitors were quantified in 0.0625-m2 quadrats. Settlement varied across sites (1.5–3 km apart) and two years of sampling (2004, 2005). The site of most potential settlement differed for the three groups of echinoderms: sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), sea stars (Asterias spp.) and sea cucumber (Psolus fabricii). Settlement densities on the artificial turf collectors tended to be greater than the densities of settlers on the natural substrate. On the natural substrate, the only significant difference between densities of juveniles over time was that newly settled sea stars were found in July and were not found the following October. Large lobsters and carnivorous worms were potential predators with densities that varied between sites. Potential competitors that differed in abundance between sites were herbivorous gastropods and conspecifics for sea urchins; and carnivorous worms for sea stars. This study suggests that patterns of recruitment are either set up by patterns of settlement or by events during the first few weeks/months on the benthic substrate for these echinoderms.

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