Purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) in and out of pits: the effects of microhabitat on population structure, morphology, growth, and mortality

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Title: Purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) in and out of pits: the effects of microhabitat on population structure, morphology, growth, and mortality
Author: Grupe, Benjamin Michael, 1981-
Abstract: Purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) are common inhabitants of wave-swept rocky shorelines on the Pacific Coast of North America. The effects of microhabitat, inside and outside pits, were investigated in intertidal populations of S. purpuratus. Nonpit urchins had significantly larger test diameters and spines, but pit urchins had relatively larger test heights and jaw lengths, indicating possible food limitation in pits. In a tetracycline-tagging study, nonpit urchins grew faster than pit urchins. S. purpuratus in both microhabitats are long-lived and seldom moved, though agefrequency distributions suggest that movement out of pits might occur between the ages of five and ten. At South Cove, predation by oystercatchers, raccoons, and the sunflower sea star Pycnopodia helianthoides was higher in nonpit microhabitats and is estimated to account for most mortality of S. purpuratus. Mortality, growth, and morphology vary between microhabitats, which may have important consequences for populations of S. purpuratus and other organisms.
Description: 277 p.Print copies of this title are available through the UO Libraries (in the OIMB Library and the Science Library), under the call number: QL384.E2 G78 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/3782
Date: 2006-12


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