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Quantification of Bioerosion by Sphaerechinus Granularis on ‘Coralugène’ Concretions of the Western Mediterranean

  • Stephane Sartoretto (a1) and Patrice Francour (a1)

Sphaerechinus granularis (Echinodermata: Echinidea) is involved in the erosion of ‘coralligène’ concretions in the Mediterranean. In shallow water (10 m), a high abundance of this species (>20 ind 25 m−2) is associated with small diameter individuals (56·7 ±7·7 mm). In deep clean waters (>40 m), the abundance is lower (<1 ind 25 m−2) and the mean diameter is higher (86·0±9·3 mm). Daily erosion of Corallinaceae by this species is related to the urchin diameter (r=0.87). Local variations in urchin abundance and diameter influence the amount of CaCO3 eroded annually. In shallow waters, the eroded CaCO3 mass reaches 210 g m−2 y−1 vs 16 g m−2 y−1 in coralligène concretions in deep clean waters. Sphaerechinus granularis is an important biological agent which substantially erodes the Mediterranean coralligène concretions.

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R.P.M. Bak , 1994. Sea urchin bioerosion on coral reefs: place in the carbonate budget and relevant variables. Coral Reefs, 13, 99103.

S.T. Trudgill , 1987. Bioerosion of intertidal limestone, Co. Clare, Eire. 3. Zonation, process and form. Marine Geology, 74, 111121.

M. Verlaque , 1984. Biologie des juvéniles de l'oursin herbivore Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck): sélectivité du broutage et impact de l'espèce sur les communautés algales de substrat rocheux en Corse (Méditerranée, France). Botanica Marina, 27, 401–24.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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