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Free Content Bathymetric Distribution and Population Size Structure of Paxillosid Seastars (Echinodermata) in the Cabo Frio Upwelling Ecosystem of Brazil

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Abstract:

Sampling of paxillosid seastars by 20-min trawls was made monthly at depths of 30, 45 and 60 m, from January, 1986 to December, 1988. Bottom water and sediments were analyzed. Four thousand one hundred twenty-one individuals comprising five species were collected: Astropecten cingulatus (54.6%); A. brasiliensis (26.4%); Luidia ludwigi scotti (18.9%); L. alternata (<1%) and Tethyaster vestitus (<1%). Astropecten brasiliensis occurred primarily at 30 m (from very well to well-sorted medium sand) and 45 m (from well to moderately-well sorted medium sand), while A. cingulatus and L. ludwigi scotti were most common at 45 m and 60 m (from well to moderately-well sorted fine sand). Differences in size-frequency distributions of A. brasiliensis were recorded at 30 and 45 m depths. Population densities were higher and body size smaller (R = 4–5 cm) at the shallower depth (30 m). At deeper depth (45 m), individuals were larger (R = 7–10 cm) and coexisted with other species of seastars. Astropecten cingulatus showed similar size-frequency distributions at both 45 and 60 m depths (R = 4 cm). No species showed a pattern of seasonal variation in density. Highest densities occurred when sea water temperatures were lower than 18°C, suggesting some relation with periods of upwelling. Differences in population size structures of seastars suggest that the recruitment rate is independent of local densities.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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