First inventory of the echinoderms from Juan de Nova (Iles Eparses, France) in the Mozambique Channel, South Western Indian Ocean.

  • T. Mulochau BIORECIF, 3 ter rue de l’albatros 97434 La Réunion, France
  • C. Conand Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, UMR 7208 BOREA 57 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris cedex 05,France Laboratoire Ecologie Marine, Université de La Réunion, 97715 Saint-Denis, La Réunion, France
  • S. Stöhr Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology, Box 50007 Stockholm, Sweden
  • M. Eléaume Laboratoire Ecologie Marine, Université de La Réunion, 97715 Saint-Denis, La Réunion, France
  • P. Chabanet IRD, BP 41095, 97495 Ste Clotild cedex, La Réunion, France
Keywords: Echinodermata, diversity, occurrence, reef flats, lagoon, reef slopes

Abstract

Juan de Nova is one of the Iles Eparses, French islands scattered in the Mozambique Channel (Western India Ocean). They have been kept isolated of the anthropogenic influences which makes them rare areas to study biodiversity and provides elements of comparison with areas that are strongly impacted by urbanization and fishing. The program Biorecie (Biodiversity, Resources and Conservation of Eparses Islands) was conducted to complete the inventories of several marine groups including the echinoderms, which had never been assessed in Juan de Nova before. A multidisciplinary team explored the reef slopes of the island by scuba diving down to a depth of 25 metersand the reef flats at low tide collecting specimens and taking photos for identification. The total species richness for echinoderms was 60 with 51 on the reef flats and lagoon, and 22 on the reef slopes. We have sampled 21 species of Holothuroidea, 16 Ophiuroidea, 10 Echinoidea, 7 Asteroidea, and 6 Crinoidea. The commercial species of Holothuroidea, some of which are now classified as endangered on the red list of UICN, like Thelenota ananas and Holothuria nobilis, were common on the reef flats, lagoon and reef slopes of the island, and show the importance of efficiently these sanctuaries of biodiversity.

Published
2015-08-13
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0856-860X
print ISSN: 0856-860X