Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 1, pp 55–63

Population dynamics, reproduction and growth of the Indo-Pacific horned sea star, Protoreaster nodosus (Echinodermata; Asteroidea)

  • Arthur R. Bos
  • Girley S. Gumanao
  • Joan C. E. Alipoyo
  • Lemuel T. Cardona
Original Paper

Abstract

The horned sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) is relatively common in the Indo-Pacific region, but there is little information about its biology. This study of the population biology of P. nodosus was carried out in Davao Gulf, The Philippines (7°5′N, 125°45′E) between September 2006 and May 2008. Protoreaster nodosus was found in sand and seagrass dominated habitats at a mean density of 29 specimens per 100 m2 and a mean biomass of 7.4 kg per 100 m2, whereas a significantly lower density and biomass was found in coral and rock dominated habitats. Adult specimens (mean radius R = 10.0 cm) were found at depths of 0–37 m, whereas juveniles (R < 8 cm) were only found in shallow sandy habitats with abundant seagrass (water depth ≤2 m). Increased gonad weights were found from March to May (spawning period), which coincided with an increasing water temperature and a decreasing salinity. Density and biomass did not change significantly during reproduction, but sea stars avoided intertidal habitats. All specimens with R > 8 cm had well developed gonads and their sex ratio was 1:1. Protoreaster nodosus grew relatively slowly in an enclosure as described by the exponential function G = 7.433 e−0.257 × R. Maturing specimens (R = 6–8 cm) were estimated to have an age of 2–3 years. Specimens with a radius of 10 cm (population mean) were calculated to have an age of 5–6 years, while the maximum age (R = 14 cm) was estimated as 17 years. Potential effects of ornamental collection on the sea star populations are discussed.

Supplementary material

References

  1. Babcock RC, Mundy CN, Whitehead D (1994) Sperm diffusion models and in situ confirmation of long-distance fertilization in the free-spawning asteroid Acanthaster planci. Biol Bull 186:17–28. doi:10.2307/1542033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bos AR, Gumanao GS, Salac FN (2008a) A newly discovered predator of the crown-of-thorns starfish. Coral Reefs 27:581. doi:10.1007/s00338-008-0364-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bos AR, Alipoyo JCE, Cardona LT, Gumanao GS, Salac FN (2008b) Population structure of common Indo-Pacific sea stars in the Davao Gulf, Philippines. In: Proceedings of 9th biannual meeting philippine association of marine science. UPV J Nat Sci 13 (accepted)Google Scholar
  4. Carpenter PH (1884) Report upon the Crinoidea collected during the voyage of HMS Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Part I: General morphology, with descriptions of the stalked crinoids. Rept Scientific Results HMS Challenger (s: Zool.) 11:1–422Google Scholar
  5. Clark AM, Rowe FEW (1971) Monograph of shallow-water Indo-West Pacific echinoderms No. 690. British Museum (Nat. Hist.), LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Colin PL, Arneson C (1995) Tropical pacific invertebrates. Coral Reef Press, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  7. Feder HM, Christensen AM (1966) Aspects of asteroid biology. In: Boolootian R (ed) Physiology of echinodermata. Wiley, New York, pp 87–127Google Scholar
  8. Guzmán HM, Guevara CA (2002) Annual reproductive cycle, spatial distribution, abundance and size structure of Oreaster reticulatus (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Mar Biol (Berl) 141:1077–1084. doi:10.1007/s00227-002-0898-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hamel JF, Mercier A (1995) Prespawning behavior, spawning, and development of the brooding starfish Leptasterias polaris. Biol Bull 188:32–45. doi:10.2307/1542065 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Klumpp DW, Salita-Espinosa JT, Fortes MD (1993) Feeding ecology and trophic role of sea urchins in a tropical seagrass community. Aquat Bot 45:205–229. doi:10.1016/0304-3770(93)90022-O CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lamare MD, Stewart BG (1998) Mass spawning by the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in a New Zealand fiord. Mar Biol (Berl) 132:35–140. doi:10.1007/s002270050379 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McCarthy DA, Young CM (2004) Effect of water-borne gametes on the aggregation behavior of Lytechinus variegatus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 283:191–198. doi:10.3354/meps283191 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Metaxas A, Scheibling RE, Young CM (2002) Estimating fertilization success in marine benthic invertebrates: a case study with the tropical sea star Oreaster reticulatus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 226:87–101. doi:10.3354/meps226087 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moran PJ (1988) Crown-of-thorns starfish: questions and answers. Australian Institute of Marine Science, TownsvilleGoogle Scholar
  15. Moran PJ, Bradbury RH, Reichelt RE (1988) Distribution of recent outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) along the Great Barrier Reef, 1985–1986. Coral Reefs 7:125–137. doi:10.1007/BF00300972 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Scheibling RE (1980a) Abundance, spatial distribution and size structure of populations of Oreaster reticulatus (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) in seagrass beds. Mar Biol (Berl) 57:95–105. doi:10.1007/BF00387375 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Scheibling RE (1980b) Abundance, spatial distribution and size structure of populations of Oreaster reticulatus (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) on sand bottoms. Mar Biol (Berl) 57:107–119. doi:10.1007/BF00387376 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Scheibling RE (1981a) The annual reproductive cycle of Oreaster reticulatus (L.) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) and interpopulation differences in reproductive capacity. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 54:39–54. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(81)90101-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Scheibling RE (1981b) Growth and respiration rate of juvenile Oreaster reticulatus (L.) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) on fish and algal diets. Comp Biochem Physiol 69A:175–176Google Scholar
  20. Scheibling RE (1982) Habitat utilization and bioturbation by Oreaster reticulatus (Asteroidea) and Meoma ventricosa (Echinoidea: Spantagoidea) in a subtidal sand patch habitat. Bull Mar Sci 32:624–629Google Scholar
  21. Scheibling RE, Metaxas A (2008) Abundance, spatial distribution, and size structure of the sea star Protoreaster nodosus in Palau, with notes on feeding and reproduction. Bull Mar Sci 82:211–235Google Scholar
  22. Schoppe S (2000) Echinoderms of the Philippines. Times Edition, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  23. Shuman CS, Hodgson G, Ambrose RF (2005) Population impacts of collecting sea anemones and anemonefish for the marine aquarium trade in the Philippines. Coral Reefs 24:564–573. doi:10.1007/s00338-005-0027-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Thomassin BA (1976) Feeding behaviour of the felt-, sponge-, and coral-feeder sea stars, mainly Culcita schmideliana. Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 28:51–65. doi:10.1007/BF01610796 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vicentuan KC, Guest JR, Baria MV, Cabaitan PC, Dizon RM, Villanueva RD, Aliño PM, Edwards AJ, Gomez ED, Heyward AJ (2007) Multi-species spawning of corals in north-western Philippines. Coral Reefs 27:83. doi:10.1007/s00338-007-0325-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wabnitz C, Taylor M, Green E, Razak T (2003) From ocean to aquarium. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  27. Williams ST, Benzie JAH (1993) Genetic consequences of long larval life in the starfish Linckia laevigata (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) on the Great Barrier Reef. Mar Biol (Berl) 117:71–77. doi:10.1007/BF00346427 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur R. Bos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Girley S. Gumanao
    • 1
  • Joan C. E. Alipoyo
    • 1
  • Lemuel T. Cardona
    • 1
  1. 1.Research OfficeDavao del Norte State CollegePanabo CityThe Philippines
  2. 2.German Development Service, DEDMakatiThe Philippines
  3. 3.National Museum of Natural History NaturalisLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Environmental ScienceRadboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations