Annual Reproductive Periodicity of the Sea Urchin Diadema Antillarum Philippi in the Canary Islands
Abstract:The tropical sea urchin Diadema antillarum is found on both coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. Several studies exist of the reproductive cycles of western Atlantic populations, but despite the extreme abundance of the species in the Canary Islands, nothing is known about its reproduction in this region. We present data on annual reproductive periodicity of eastern Atlantic populations. We determined gonadal indices at two locations in the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. Though water in the southern location is warmer, reproductive cycles are similar. Gonadal content increases between October and April (or May), then declines (presumably due to spawning) until September (or October). The spawning season coincides with the period of most rapid temperature rise, but the new reproductive cycle is initiated as temperature continues to increase. In addition to temperature, reproductive cycles may be related to seasonal increases of benthic algal productivity.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2000
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