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Long term trends in population dynamics and reproduction in Holothuria atra (Aspidochirotida) in the southern Great Barrier Reef; the importance of asexual and sexual reproduction
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. University of Sydney.
2013 (English)In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, ISSN 0025-3154, E-ISSN 1469-7769, Vol. 93, no 4, 1067-1072 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Population density and the presence of fission products of Holothuria (Halodeima) atra were investigated in surveys taken over 5 years (2006-2010) in the Capricorn Bunker Group, Southern Great Barrier Reef. These surveys were undertaken to document population density over time and assess the potential that asexual reproduction contributes to population maintenance. Over the 5 years a low incidence of fission was evident year-round, with an increase in July and August (13 and 27% of the population, respectively). There was a positive correlation between population density and the presence of fission products across all surveys. Although density fluctuated, there was no significant difference between months or sites. Despite the potential increase that might be expected from fission followed by regeneration, density fluctuated around a mean of 0.77 ind. m(-2). Examination of gonads of the small (asexual and sexual reproduction) and large (sexual only) morphs of H. atra indicated a difference in reproductive pattern. Many small morphs lacked gonads during winter and, when they developed gonads, the gonad index (GI) was low. The GI pattern of the small morph indicated that they spawned in summer. In comparison the large morph had conspicuous gonads through the year. The GI of the large morph was high in winter and summer indicating greater, more prolonged spawning activity in these individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 93, no 4, 1067-1072 p.
Keyword [en]
population dynamics, asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction, Holothuroidea, Holothuria atra
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91035DOI: 10.1017/S0025315412000343ISI: 000318625700025OAI: diva2:630573


Available from: 2013-06-19 Created: 2013-06-18 Last updated: 2013-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Hampus
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