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Spatial and seasonal variation of the gonad index of Diadema antillarum (Echinodermata:Echinoidea) in the Canary Islands
J.C. Hernández, A. Brito, N. García, M.C. Gil-Rodríguez, G. Herrera, A. Cruz-Reyes and J.M. Falcón.

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 influence.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 70(4) : 689-698 Back PDF
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