Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Spatial and seasonal variation of the gonad index of Diadema antillarum (Echinodermata:Echinoidea) in the Canary Islands


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2006.70n4689

José Carlos Hernández
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Animal, U.D.I. Ciencias Marinas. Facultad de Biología. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Alberto Brito
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Animal, U.D.I. Ciencias Marinas. Facultad de Biología. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Nayra García
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Animal, U.D.I. Ciencias Marinas. Facultad de Biología. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

María Candelaria Gil-Rodríguez
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Vegetal, U.D.I. Botánica. Facultad de Farmacia. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Guacimara Herrera
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Vegetal, U.D.I. Botánica. Facultad de Farmacia. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Alejandro Cruz-Reyes
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Vegetal, U.D.I. Botánica. Facultad de Farmacia. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Jesús M. Falcón
Universidad de La Laguna. Departamento de Biología Animal, U.D.I. Ciencias Marinas. Facultd de Biología. La Laguna. Tenerife, Spain

Abstract


Diadema antillarum Philippi occurs in high density populations in the Canary Islands, creating extensive barren areas. During one year we determined seasonal changes in the algal abundance and population densities, test diameter, gut contents and gonad index of sea urchins in two localities (Abades and Boca Cangrejo). Boca Cangrejo shows higher algae cover and species richness than Abades. The sea urchin population at Abades had a higher density and smaller urchins than Boca Cangrejo. Boca Cangrejo sea urchins showed higher specific richness in gut contents than Abades urchins. The sea urchin population at Abades did not have a clearer reproductive periodicity or higher gonad index than the Boca Cangrejo population. Temporal and spatial changes in gonad periodicity of Diadema antillarum are attributed, at least in part, to benthic food availability (algal cover and algal species number) and intra-specific competition.


Keywords


algal cover; Canary Islands; Diadema antillarum; gonad periodicity; gut content; locality influencestinal; influencia de la localidad

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