Ecology of Echinometra mathaei (Echinoidea: Echinodermata) at Diani Beach, Kenya

Khamala CPM. "Ecology of Echinometra mathaei (Echinoidea: Echinodermata) at Diani Beach, Kenya.". 1971.


Studies were carried out on the inner and outer coral reefs at Diani Beach on the Kenya coast to assess the distribution, density and behaviour of Echinometra mathaei (de Blainville). Transects 1 m wide were run on the two reefs in April, June and September, 1970. Test measurements on representative samples from the animal populations on both reefs were also taken. Direct observations on specimens of E. mathaci in selected rock pools on the outer reef were made to determine their movement, gregariousness, homing and feeding behaviour. Population density was higher on the inner reef furthest from the sea at low tide than on the outer reef. On the submerged inner coral reef at low tide, E. mathaei occurred mainly exposed on the seaweeds, but, on the exposed outer reef, its main niches were crevices in rock pools and under coral ledges. Sizefrequency distributions revealed that smaller individuals occurred on the inner reef and larger ones on the outer reef. The growth rate of E. mathaei was estimated from the positions of modal values, calculated from size-frequency distributions. No gregarious or homing behaviour was observed and, once settled in a suitable crevice, E. mathaei showed little movement

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