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Biometry, bathymetric distribution, and reproductive cycle of the holothuroid Holothuria tubulosa (Echinodermata) from Mediterranean Sea grass beds
Bulteel, P.; Jangoux, M.; Coulon, P. (1992). Biometry, bathymetric distribution, and reproductive cycle of the holothuroid Holothuria tubulosa (Echinodermata) from Mediterranean Sea grass beds. Mar. Ecol. (Berl.) 13(1): 53-62. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1439-0485.1992.tb00339.x
In: Marine Ecology (Berlin). Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0173-9565, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Holothuroidea [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    HOLOTHUROIDS; BATHYMETRIC RANGE; REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE; SEAGRASS BEDS

Authors  Top 
  • Bulteel, P.
  • Jangoux, M., more
  • Coulon, P.

Abstract
    Holothuria tubulosa individuals were sampled regularly at three different depths (6, 19, and 33m) over a 20-month period in a Posidonia oceanica meadow off Ischia Island (Italy). Biometrical analysis demonstrated that holothuroids have a well-marked size-related distribution according to depth, with the smallest individuals in the shallowest part of the meadow and the large ones in its deepest part. The observed distributions reflect the ability of H. tubulosa to grow more efficiently in areas of low water turbulence where Posidonia shoots are scattered and detrital food is more easily accessible. Recruitment takes place in the shallow meadow, and holothuroids with high reproductive potential only occur in the deep meadow. Small holothuroids (shallow individuals of similar sizes) may be either juveniles or sexually mature individuals; environmental constraints apparently restrict the growth of individuals and their gonads. There is a progressive downward migration of growing individuals when the whole population is considered, although at the level of the individual the migration occurs randomly. Accordingly, the size of a sexually mature individual is more a function of its past history in the meadow than of its real age.

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