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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 122:179-191 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps122179

Biological cycles and recruitment of Paracentrotus lividus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in two contrasting habitats

Lozano J, Galera J, López S, Turon X, Palacín C,

Two populations of Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck) (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) from the Northwestern Mediterranean were compared to ascertain the plasticity and adaptive value of certain biological parameters. These populations were found in habitats which differed in terms of stability of environmental parameters and food availability. A yearly reproductive cycle was seen in both communities, with a spawning season at the end of spring that lasted up to several months. Recruitment data, inferred from abundance of post-settlement stages, indicated lack of settlement during the study period in the unstable community, while a major recruitment in summer, with less intense episodes occurring until autumn, was recorded in the stable community. The intensity of recruitment varied over an order of magnitude in the 2 consecutive years monitored. The gonadal indices were higher and the feeding indices were lower in the unstable community, indicating greater allocation of resources to reproduction, at the expense of somatic growth, in response to unfavourable conditions. The graph of the feeding and gonadal indices with size was parallel in the unstable community, while there was a lag between the sizes at which feeding activity and gonadal biomass reached their highest values at the stable site, indicating that feeding activity is not so tightly determined by gonad investment needs in the stable, food-rich community.

Reproductive biology · Recruitment · Feeding index · Echinoidea · Paracentrotus

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