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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