Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/47051
Title: Size-density strategy displayed by Diadema africanum linked with the stability of urchin-barrens in the Canary Islands
Authors: Cabanillas-Terán, Nancy
Martín García, Jose Antonio 
Rodríguez-Barreras, Ruber
Luque Escalona, Ángel 
UNESCO Clasification: 241705 Biología marina
Keywords: Diadema africanum
Urchin barren
Morphometry
Abundance
Canary Islands
Issue Date: 2015
Journal: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 
Abstract: The sea urchin Diadema africanum is considered a key herbivore in sublittoral ecosystems of the Canary Islands. Spatial and temporal variability in population structure was carried out at Gran Canaria. We performed a morphometric and population density analysis during 2005, 2006 and 2007 at four sites in zones of Gran Canaria. The study considered a vertical gradient (5, 10 and 20 m depth) during both seasons, the cold season (February and March) and the warm season (October and November). The sea urchin D. africanum in Gran Canaria exhibited an overall density of 7.59 ± 2.92 urchin m-2. A two-way ANOVA evidenced spatial differences in mean abundance of the species, while seasonality was not relevant. The vertical analysis of the abundance of D. africanum showed differences, the smaller sizes appeared at greater depths. The Aristotle's lantern width decreased in a vertical gradient, being remarkable between 10 and 20 m. Findings of uniformity in size over time, a stable range of high densities and the lack of a relationship between the size of the sea urchins and the season reveals that the density-size strategy displayed by D. africanum which explains in turns the high stability of the urchin barrens, which, once developed, remain as areas of permanent desertification in subtidal depths throughout the Canary Archipelago.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/47051
ISSN: 0025-3154
DOI: 10.1017/S0025315414001246
Source: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom [ISSN 0025-3154], v. 95, p. 145-151
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