, Volume 222, Issue 1, pp 13–17 | Cite as

Survival of seaweeds ingested by three species of tropical sea urchins from Brazil

  • Mariana Cabral de Oliveira


Three species of sea urchins, Echinometra lucunter, Lytechinus variegatus, and Arbacia lixula, common on the southeastern coast of Brazil, were selected for experiments on seaweed survival after passage through their digestive tract.

L. variegatus and E. lucunter have more than 80% of their diet composed of algae. C. 24% of the species of algae present in the digestive tract survived. A. lixula has only 29% of its diet composed by algae, but the survival rate of the algae is c. 50%.

Although Rhodophyta represent 51% of the ingested algae, their survival rate in the faeces is only 19%, while the Chlorophyta, with a survival rate of 63%, comprise only about 26% of the diet. Most species of algae that survived ingestion were r-strategists.

Key words

algal survival Arbacia digestion Echinometra Lytechinus sea urchin 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariana Cabral de Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Inst. BiociênciasUniv. S. PauloSão Paulo, SPBrazil

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