Articulated coralline algae provide a spatial refuge to juvenile sea urchins from predatory crabs

Dara S. Yiu, Colette Feehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Coralline algae provide settlement cues, food, and biotic structure for benthic marine invertebrates in intertidal and subtidal habitats. Here, we present evidence from laboratory experiments that juvenile sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (1.0–3.0 mm test diameter) are chemically attracted to articulated coralline algae Corallina vancouveriensis in the San Juan Archipelago (Washington, USA), resulting in movement of sea urchins into the algae. This behavior significantly reduced sea urchin mortality in the presence of predatory crabs Pagurus spp. and Cancer oregonensis as compared to treatments with no algae. In addition, we tested predation rates of various benthic predators from intertidal and subtidal habitats, and found that crabs were the most voracious predators of juvenile sea urchins. Our results indicate that C. vancouveriensis provides a spatial refuge to juvenile sea urchins from predatory crabs, and may facilitate recruitment into sea urchin populations by enhancing juvenile survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalMarine Biology
Volume164
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

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algae
coralline alga
Echinoidea
refuge
crab
crabs
alga
predator
Corallina
predators
habitat
habitats
archipelago
sea
cancer
predation
invertebrate
invertebrates
mortality
neoplasms

Cite this

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abstract = "Coralline algae provide settlement cues, food, and biotic structure for benthic marine invertebrates in intertidal and subtidal habitats. Here, we present evidence from laboratory experiments that juvenile sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (1.0–3.0 mm test diameter) are chemically attracted to articulated coralline algae Corallina vancouveriensis in the San Juan Archipelago (Washington, USA), resulting in movement of sea urchins into the algae. This behavior significantly reduced sea urchin mortality in the presence of predatory crabs Pagurus spp. and Cancer oregonensis as compared to treatments with no algae. In addition, we tested predation rates of various benthic predators from intertidal and subtidal habitats, and found that crabs were the most voracious predators of juvenile sea urchins. Our results indicate that C. vancouveriensis provides a spatial refuge to juvenile sea urchins from predatory crabs, and may facilitate recruitment into sea urchin populations by enhancing juvenile survival.",
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Articulated coralline algae provide a spatial refuge to juvenile sea urchins from predatory crabs. / Yiu, Dara S.; Feehan, Colette.

In: Marine Biology, Vol. 164, No. 4, 76, 01.04.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Feehan, Colette

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