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The influence of population density on fission and growth of Holothuria atra in natural mesocosms

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Univ Sydney
dc.contributor Bosch Inst
dc.contributor University Of Sydney
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en UTHICKE, SVEN LEE, JESSICA BYRNE, MARIA 2017-03-21T01:20:14Z 2013-02-28T06:49:59Z 2013-02-28T06:49:59Z 2019-07-08T02:09:32Z 2017-03-21T01:20:14Z 2013-02-28T06:49:59Z 2013-02-28T06:49:59Z 2019-07-08T02:09:32Z 2008-10-31
dc.identifier 7889 en
dc.identifier.citation Lee J, Byrne M and Uthicke S (2008) The influence of population density on fission and growth of Holothuria atra in natural mesocosms. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 365: 126-135. en
dc.identifier.issn 0022-0981
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract Investigation of the population dynamics, asexual reproduction (fission) and growth of holothuroids has been impeded by the difficulty of tagging individuals. We conducted the first tests on the interactions between population density, fission and growth of holothuroids in experimental populations placed in natural mesocosms (microatolls) at One Tree Reef (OTR), Great Barrier Reef. Similarly sized Holothuria atra were translocated to the microatolls in low (LDT) and high (HDT) density treatments. We hypothesised that holothuroids in lower density treatments would have more resources per individual and that this would promote higher frequencies of asexual reproduction and smaller individuals. The seasonal pattern of fission was similar in natural (unmanipulated) and experimental populations, with the maximum number of fission products occurring in winter and spring. The overall density of the LDT (0.19 ind. m(-2)) and HDT (0.59 ind. m(-2)) did not vary over time. This 'steady state' suggested that some fission products died and that asexual reproduction compensated for overall mortality and emigration. There was no difference in sediment chlorophyll pigments between treatments indicating that the different densities of H. atra did not affect benthic microalgal biomass. The percentage of fission products was greater in the LDT than the HDT but this difference was not statistically significant, providing some support for the hypothesis that H. atra in the LDT exhibit a higher fission rates. At the end of the experiment H. atra in LDT were significantly longer and heavier than in HDT. H. atra surpassed their initial deployment weight and length after 13 months in the LDT by 115.2% and 45.2% respectively and in the HDT 86.9% and 24.6% respectively, changing from the small to the large phenotype known for this species. This differential growth may be linked to habitat stability and high benthic productivity and demonstrates the phenotypic plasticity of holothuroids and potential to achieve 'Optimum Individual Size' with respect to environmental conditions. Our results will assist in finetuning conceptual models on asexual reproduction and future experimental studies on the phenomena of fission and plastic growth in holothuroids. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
dc.description.sponsorship Research was supported by a SESQUI grant, University of Sydney. Drs. T. Tentori, E. Sides, Mr. G. Lloyd and many volunteers assisted with fieldwork. T. Prowse assisted with data analysis. We thank the staff of One Tree Island Research Station, a facility of the University of Sydney. We are grateful to the reviewers who provided very helpful feedback that greatly improved this manuscript.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology - pages: 365: 126-135 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Great-barrier-reef
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Aspidochirotida
dc.subject Stichopus-chloronotus
dc.subject Asexual Reproduction
dc.subject Growth
dc.subject Australia
dc.subject Coral-reef
dc.subject Echinodermata
dc.subject Environmental Sciences & Ecology
dc.subject Sediments
dc.subject Feeding Holothurians
dc.subject Density
dc.subject Marine & Freshwater Biology
dc.subject Population Dynamics
dc.subject Halodeima Atra
dc.subject Holothuroids
dc.title The influence of population density on fission and growth of Holothuria atra in natural mesocosms
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.jembe.2008.08.003
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000260943900006

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