Agnetta, Davide and Badalamenti, Fabio and Ceccherelli, Giulia and Di Trapani, F. and Bonaviri, Chiara and Gianguzza, Paola (2015) Role of two co-occurring Mediterranean sea urchins in the formation of barren from Cystoseira canopy. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 152 , p. 73-77. ISSN 0272-7714. eISSN 1096-0015. Article.
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In the Mediterranean Sea the co-occurring sea urchins Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula are usually considered to share the same ecological role in the formation of barren from Cystoseira canopy. However, their foraging ability may vary due to feeding behavior and species-specific morphological traits. The relative effects of P. lividus and A. lixula on Cystoseira canopy was tested experimentally both in the laboratory, at a density of about 20 ind./m2, and in the field by gut content analysis. Field and laboratory results show that A. lixula is unable to affect Cystoseira spp. Furthermore, these results confirmed the great ability of P. lividus to consume Cystoseira canopy, thus supporting the evidence of the major role of this species in the creation of a barren state.
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