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Title: Spatio-temporal variability in a key herbivore, the long-spined black sea urchin (Diadema antillarum, Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in the Canary Islands
Authors: Tuya, F. 
Ortega-Borges, L.
Rosario-Pinilla, A. B.Del
Haroun, R. J. 
UNESCO Clasification: 240119 Zoología marina
Keywords: Diadema antillarum
Canary Islands
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: 0025-3154
Journal: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 
Abstract: Spatio-temporal variability in the population structure of long-spined black sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, was investigated at two islands (Gran Canaria and Tenerife) in the Canarian Archipelago over a year. The mean abundance of D. antillarum across all counts was 2.70±0.07 ind m−2 (mean±SE, N=1440), while the mean biomass was 105.76±3.75 g m−2 (mean±SE, N=1440). Abundances and biomasses of D. antillarum differed consistently between vegetated and unvegetated bottoms; however, locations within each habitat at each island fluctuated following different trends. For the overall study, mean densities and biomasses in the barren locations varied between 3.36–6.97 ind m−2 and 93.76–405.13 g m−2, respectively; while mean densities and biomasses in the algal stand locations varied between 0–0.33 ind m−2 and 0 – 7.34 g m−2, respectively. Striking differences existed in the size-structure among locations; however, larger size-classes (test diameter >3.5 cm) were present at all locations, and usually dominated in terms of abundance. The majority of individuals in the algal stands were large-sized, probably as a result of the high abundance of the most palatable food. In contrast, small-sized individuals (test diameter <1.5 cm) only occurred in the barren habitat, suggesting that recruitment of D. antillarum could be favoured by the presence of high densities of congeners, as a way to decrease the risk of predation.
ISSN: 0025-3154
DOI: 10.1017/S0025315406013713
Source: Journal Of The Marine Biological Association Of The United Kingdom [ISSN 0025-3154], v. 86 (4), p. 791-797
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