Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Population status of the long-spined urchin Diadema antillarum in Puerto Rico 20 years after a mass mortality event

Download Article:
(PDF 934.3 kb)
A mass mortality event of the long-spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum (Philippi, 1845) occurred during 1983–1984 across the western Atlantic. Recovery to pre-mortality densities has been slow throughout most of the Caribbean as current stocks remain low, existing at a small fraction of previously recorded levels. To measure population recovery at Puerto Rico, we surveyed 26 localities around the island during 2003–2004. At each reef, we deployed 15 × 2 m belt transects (n = 12) to detect and quantify the presence of D. antillarum and obtain data on benthic cover. Density of D. antillarum varied significantly among geographic regions and localities, though variability was high. The highest density was documented in the Culebra Island region (0.44 ind m−2), followed by the northern region of Puerto Rico (0.23 ind m−2). No individuals of D. antillarum were found in 11 of the 26 surveyed localities. These densities are still substantially lower than pre- and post-mortality estimates from Puerto Rico. Most of the reefs were characterized by high macroalgal cover and horizontal water transparency < 3 m. Urchin densities were significantly and positively correlated with percentage of coral cover, percentage of coralline algae, and water transparency.

43 References.

1 item.

No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more