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Patch recolonization through migration by the echinoid Paracentrotus lividus in communities with high algal cover and low echinoid densities
Palacín, C.; Giribet, G.; Turon, X. (1997). Patch recolonization through migration by the echinoid Paracentrotus lividus in communities with high algal cover and low echinoid densities. Cah. Biol. Mar. 38(4): 267-271
In: Cahiers de Biologie Marine. Station Biologique de Roscoff: Paris. ISSN 0007-9723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Palacín, C.
  • Giribet, G.
  • Turon, X.

Abstract
    We examined the recolonization of patches which had been artificially cleared of the echinoid Paracentrotus lividus. Our aim was to mimic an extraction event such as those produced by harvesters and to examine how long it took for the sea urchin to recolonize the cleared areas. We selected a community in which there was a low echinoid density (ca. 2 ind.m super(-2) ) and high algal cover. These conditions are typical of many rocky Mediterranean assemblages at depths below 4-6 m. The experimental patches varied in the degree of isolation from neighbouring sea urchin. In these circumstances we found that recolonization was slow, and only in the most accessible zones did the sea urechin abundance recover within 18 months. After 4 and a half years, the population bad recovered to less than 46% of the original abundance in the most isolated area. Settlement and growth of urchins, rather than migration, may account for recolonization in isolated zones. We conclude that extraction of this species may have a long-lasting effect on the local populations of echinoids which, in turn, may influence algal communities.

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