The combined effects of temperatures of 14, 17, 20, 22, and 25°C and salinities of 36–12‰ on embryos and larvae of the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis was studied. Embryonic development is the most sensitive stage in the early ontogenesis of S. mirabilis. It is completed at a temperature of 14–20°C in a salinity range of 36–24‰ and at temperature of 22°C to 26‰. The fertilization proceeds in wider ranges of temperature and salinity. Among the swimming larvae, blastulae showed the greatest resistance to variations of these environmental factors. All the larvae survived at a temperature of 14–22°C and a salinity of 36–20‰, and more than 70% of them at 18‰. The pluteus I is the most vulnerable stage; probably this is related to the formation of the larval skeleton and transition to phytoplankton feeding. The survival of larvae at the age of 20 days was 100% at 14–22° C and a salinity of 36–24‰, most of them survived at 14–20°C and a salinity 18‰. The temperature 25 ° C is the most damaging for early development of S. mirabilis. The duration of development of that species lasts 28.5–29 days at 20°C and a salinity of 32.2–32.6‰. At 20 and 22°C, the larvae settled and completed metamorphosis more quickly if sand from the parental habitat was present. The larvae did not settle during the experiment (14 days) at 14 ° C and in the absence of sand.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 15, 2009
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