Scientia Marina, Vol 80, No 2 (2016)

Efficiency of artificial collectors for quantitative assessment of sea urchin settlement rates

Marc Balsalobre
Biodiversidad, Ecología Marina y Conservación, Departamento de Biología Animal (Ciencias Marinas), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

Owen S. Wangensteen
Dept. Biología Animal, Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBIO). Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Creu Palacín
Dept. Biología Animal, Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBIO). Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Sabrina Clemente
Biodiversidad, Ecología Marina y Conservación, Departamento de Biología Animal (Ciencias Marinas), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

José Carlos Hernández
Biodiversidad, Ecología Marina y Conservación, Departamento de Biología Animal (Ciencias Marinas), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain


We tested the suitability of three different kinds of artificial collectors designed for quantitative assessment of echinoid settlement rates: (1) nylon nets containing plastic biofilter balls, (2) vertical scrub brushes with vegetal bristles and (3) horizontal triangular mats of coconut fibre. We measured the collecting efficiency by counting the number of post-larvae of two sea urchin species (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) gathered by each collector and deployed in two geographic areas: Tenerife (Canary Islands, eastern Atlantic) and Tossa de Mar (Costa Brava, northwestern Mediterranean). The plastic biofilter ball collector proved to be the most efficient design, collecting more settlers of both sea urchin species under all assayed conditions and showing a higher reproducibility than the other two designs. We therefore suggest using plastic biofilter balls in future studies aimed at quantifying echinoid settlement rates.


settlement; artificial collectors; sea urchins; post-larvae; Mediterranean; Canary Islands

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