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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 63(7)

Growth, morphometrics and size structure of the Diadematidae sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii in northern New Zealand

Danilo Pecorino A B, Miles D. Lamare A and Mike F. Barker A

A Department of Marine Science, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
B Corresponding author. Email: danilo.pecorino@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research 63(7) 624-634 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF12040
Submitted: 7 February 2012  Accepted: 30 April 2012   Published: 2 July 2012

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The sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii has increased its range in Eastern Australia resulting in important ecological changes. C. rodgersii may also have expanded its distribution range to northern New Zealand in the last five to six decades, although little is known about this process and of the biology of the species in New Zealand. We investigated morphometrics as well as growth using two techniques (growth line count in genital plates and tag–recapture using the fluorescent marker tetracycline). These methods allowed modelling of size at age of C. rodgersii in New Zealand, which we compared with populations recently established in Tasmania. The modelled growth rate was only slightly higher in the New Zealand population, and no differences in morphometrics were observed. The New Zealand population structure suggests that annual recruitment occurs regularly, with the population including a range of ages (3 to 10+ years).

Additional keywords: climate change, competition, growth lines, range expansion, tag–recapture.


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