, Volume 116, Issue 4, pp 583-591

Effects of temperature and salinity acclimation of adults on larval survival, physiology, and early development of Lytechinus variegatus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea)

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Larval survival and developmental rates of Lytechinus variegatus (Lamarck) were determined as a function of temperature and salinity in two experiments by: (1) directly transferring fertilized eggs to 35, 30, 27.5, 25, 20, 15, and 10‰S seawater at 18 and 23°C, and (2) acclimation of adult sea urchins to the conditions described above for 1 to 4 wk prior to spawning. Developmental rates and percent survival of larvae prior to metamorphosis decreased at salinities below 35‰ (Q10 values for metamorphosis=0.380 to 0.384). Temperature and salinity significantly (P<0.05) affected metabolic rates of L. variegatus plutei. These results show that L. variegatus larvae are stenohaline when compared to larvae of other echinoderm species. LC50 values (‰S), developmental rates, and survival to metamorphosis indicate that acclimation of adult sea urchins to lower salinity prior to spawing and fertilization does not enhance development or survival of embryos exposed to low salinity.

Communicated by N. H. Marcus, Tallahassee