African Journal of Marine Science

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Relationships between recruits of abalone haliotis midae, encrusting corallines and the sea urchin Parechinus angulosus

E Day, GM Branch


In kelp beds of the South-Western Cape, South Africa, a strong positive relationship exists between the sea urchin Parechinus angulosus and juveniles of the abalone Haliotis midae. Field surveys reported here revealed a
positive, but weak, association between this urchin and H. midae recruits (i.e. individuals <3 mm shell length). Selectivity indices showed that recruits occurred exclusively on encrusting coralline algae and showed preferences
for strongly textured corallines, rather than those with smooth texture. On smooth corallines, around 80% of recruits were under urchins, compared with about 25% on textured corallines, suggesting that any need for shelter beneath urchins is greatest on smooth surfaces.

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