The reproductive cycle of the sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in a Scottish sea loch

Maeve Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris was sampled at monthly intervals from two replicate sites at contrasting locations (littoral and subtidal habitats) on the west coast of Scotland. Samples were collected from November 1995 to October 1997. A study of gonad development showed a clearly defined annual cycle of gametogenesis with a single spawning period. Gonad indices (GIs) varied between locations, between sites at the same location and between study years. Gonad indices were maximal prior to the onset of the spawning period in June and July. Ripe gametes were shed by dissected urchins from June to September in 1996 and June to August in 1997 coinciding with the time of year when the gonad colour was best in terms of what is desired in the marketplace. Over winter the GIs were very low and gonads became very dark in colour. Higher summer GIs in the urchins from one littoral site suggested that the urchins there had a seasonal influx of a more nutritious or more abundant food resource. Histological determination of the reproductive state showed that for these food-limited populations high GIs do equate with the spawning period. The gametogenic cycle fits the six stage pattern described for other echinoid species. In females oocytes of various developmental stages were present throughout the annual cycle. Recruitment to the littoral location was monitored over two seasons by quantifying the number of urchins with a test diameter
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-919
Number of pages11
JournalJ MAR BIOL ASSOC UK
Volume80
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • DIET
  • GONADAL GROWTH
  • PARACENTROTUS-LIVIDUS
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • STRATEGY
  • LAMARCK ECHINODERMATA
  • STRONGYLOCENTROTUS-DROEBACHIENSIS
  • SALMON
  • GAMETOGENESIS
  • SPHAERECHINUS-GRANULARIS ECHINODERMATA
  • HABITATS

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