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Volume 44 - Number 1 - 2009
Article

 

Experimental displacement trials of the red sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Aggassiz, 1863) (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) at different current velocities

Chita Guisado A.1, Luis F. Bückle R.2, Mónica Hernández R.2 and Daniela Díaz-Guisado3,4

 

1Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile. Casilla 5080, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile

2Laboratorio de Ecofisiología, Departamento de Acuicultura, Centro de Investigación Científica y Educación Superior de Ensenada (C.I.C.E.S.E.), Km 107 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, Ensenada, Baja California, México P.O. Box 434844, San Diego, CA 92143-4844, USA

3Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad Arturo Prat. Ejercito 443, Puerto Montt, Chile

4Present address: School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington 6140, New Zealand

 

E-mail: chita.guisado@uv.cl

 

Displacement of marine animals is affected by diverse environmental factors, including hydrodynamics performance. We evaluated the effect of current velocity on the displacement of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus franciscanus in an experimental flume, in both light and dark conditions. We observed that movement of S. franciscanus was directly proportional to the current speed. Our results differ from previous studies in the amount and the direction of displacement of other strongylocentrotids, because sea urchins displacements were similar in the current direction and counter-current irrespective of current velocity and our results showed displacements of circa 7 m per day, smaller to that reported for experiments in the same urchin species in British Columbia. The differences may be due to the absence of predators or food, or the trials in day and night conditions. Day and night differences in the displacement of S. franciscanus were not observed


Key words: Current speed, day and night movement, experimental flume

 

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