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Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 8, pp 1837–1847 | Cite as

Growth and reproduction of Loxechinus albus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) at the southerly peripheries of their species range, Falkland Islands (South Atlantic)

  • Anna Schuhbauer
  • Paul BrickleEmail author
  • Alexander Arkhipkin
Original Paper

Abstract

Sea urchins Loxechinus albus were collected from an unfished population inhabiting inshore areas of the eastern part of the Falkland Islands (Southwest Atlantic) at bimonthly intervals between January 2005 and March 2006. The gonads of 491 specimens were sampled to ascertain GSI, and a subsample was examined microscopically in order to determine sex and maturity stage. Age was determined by ring counts on genital plates of 349 specimens with the annual periodicity of ring deposition validated by marginal increment analysis. This investigation suggests that the study population spawns at the warmest time of the year thus allowing for greater growth in their pelagic larvae and newly settled juveniles. Size at age data were found to be asymptotic and out of three growth functions tested the von Beralanffy growth model best described the data. The relatively short period of optimal water temperatures around the Falkland Islands does not enable L. albus to grow as fast as in other regions with higher seasonal temperatures (central Chilean coasts) resulting in relatively small adult sizes.

Keywords

Falkland Island Genital Plate Chilean Coast Drift Alga Optimal Water Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dave Eynon of South Atlantic Marine Services Ltd, Judith Brown, Vladimir Laptikhovsky, Stephen Cartwright, Wetjens Dimmlich and Steve Brown of the Shallow Marine Surveys Group (Falkland Islands) for diving services and sample collection. We are grateful to John Barton, Director of Fisheries for supporting this work. Finally, we would like to thank Beverly Reid and Zhanna Shcherbich (Fisheries Department) for their help with sample processing. We are grateful for the comments made by two anonymous referees that helped to improve the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Schuhbauer
    • 1
  • Paul Brickle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Arkhipkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Falkland Islands Government Fisheries DepartmentStanleyFalkland Islands

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