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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

On-line version ISSN 0718-1957


NAVARRO, Pablo G; GARCIA-SANZ, Sara  and  TUYA, Fernando. Abundance and size patterns of Holothuria sanctori, Holothuria mammata and Holothuria arguinensis (Echinodermata: Holoturoidea) off Gran Canaria Island, eastern Atlantic. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2013, vol.48, n.2, pp.273-284. ISSN 0718-1957.

The spatio-temporal abundance and size patterns of Holothuria sanctori, H. mammata and H. arguinensis were studied from February 2009 to January 2010, off Gran Canaria Island. Holothuria sanctori coloration patterns and the influence of bottom rugosity on holothurian abundances were also studied. Holothuria sanctori was the most abundant species with 1.13 ± 0.29 ind m-2, followed by H. mammata with 0.16 ± 0.22 ind m-2 and H. arguinensis with 0.04 ± 0.05 ind m-2. Holothuria arguinensis showed the bigger sizes, with a mean length of 255.07 ± 55.49 mm, followed by H. mammata with 234.29 ± 45.10 mm and H. sanctori with 181.35 ± 29.15 mm. Only 9 <100 mm H. sanctori individuals were found throughout the study, and none of H. mammata or H. arguinensis. The abundance and size did not vary between annual seasons, except small punctual fluctuations. The 3 species showed consistent temporal abundance patterns among locations. Holothuria sanctori coloration is related with the size of individuals. Bottom rugosity influences the abundance of holothurians, having maximum abundances of H. sanctori on medium rugosity bottoms and of H. mammata and H. arguinensis on high rugosity areas. This study represents a clear advance in our knowledge of the class Holothuroidea in Canary Islands, and highlights some aspects which structure holothurian populations in rocky bottoms.

Keywords : Rugosity; sea cucumber; beche de mer; Canary Islands; Atlantic Ocean.

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