|Experimental study of growth in the echinoid Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) (Echinodermata)|Grosjean, P.; Spirlet, C.; Jangoux, M. (1996). Experimental study of growth in the echinoid Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) (Echinodermata). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 201(1-2): 173-184. dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-0981(95)00200-6
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Lausanne; Shannon; Amsterdam. ISSN 0022-0981, more
echinoid; growth; population dynamics; size-frequency distribution
Multimodal size frequency distribution (i.e., a few individuals growing very fast and a few individuals growing very slowly) among an originally homogeneous cohort of juveniles Paracentrotus lividus is observed in reared conditions when they are 6–24 months old. The splitting of this cohort into homogeneous size-classed subgroups results in an increased growth of the smaller animals that catch up with the bigger ones in 4 months time. This indicates that the smaller animals are not genetically less productive and suggests they were inhibited in their growth due to the presence of larger ones. Supposing such growth inhibition also occurs in the natural environment, the observed mechanism could be very efficient in stabilizing field populations of aggregative echinoid species by maintaining a protected pool of small individuals with high growth potential but inhibited by the density of larger ones.