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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Population dynamics of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus in a Central California kelp forest: recruitment, mortality, growth, and diet

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  • M. C. Kenner
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 450, 95039-0450, Moss Landing, California, USA

The population dynamics of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus inhabiting dense mats of geniculate coralline algae in a shallow central California Macrocystis pyrifera forest was examined. Sea otters had occupied the area for over two decades. Sea urchin density and size distribution were sampled during 1984–1986 to determine recruitment and mortality patterns. Growth rates were obtained from tetracycline-labeled individuals and changes in sizefrequency modes. Periodic collections were made to examine gut contents and the relationship of diet to food availability. The interaction of recruitment and mortality resulted in a dynamic population structure. Mean densities ranged from 6.5 to 12.7 urchins 0.25 m-2. The population consisted primarily of urchins up to 40 mm in test diameter in a size distribution which changed from unimodal to bimodal and back over the 2 yr study. Mortality was temporally variable and related to test diameter. Growth rates were somewhat lower than most previous reports for the species and suggested that most of the population was made up of 1 and 2 yr-old individuals. Diet consisted largely of geniculate coralline algae, with fleshy brown algae becoming important when available as drift. This study showed high densities of small urchins can exist in a California kelp forest inhabited by sea otters, but regular recruitment may be necessary to maintain such populations.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - marine biology & hydrobiology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - marine & freshwater biology
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Marine Biology

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  • Echinodermes
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