Feeding behaviour and bioerosion: the ecological role of the rock-boring urchin, Echinometra mathaei (de Blainville, 1825), in Okinawa reef flat

Noar Muda Satyawan, Shelly Tutupoho, Yusli Wardiatno, Makoto Tsuchiya

Abstract


Erosion rate on corals due to activities of other biota is called bioerosion. The rock-boring urchin, Echinometra mathaei, when it is abundant, plays a significant role in benthic ecosystems, including biological processes like coral erosion. During feeding, E. mathaei erodes calcium carbonate besides grazing on algae living on coral, so it plays an important role in both organic and inorganic carbons in coral reefs. The urchin E. mathaei actively feeds during the night time (nocturnal grazer). Although in Okinawa four types (A-D) of the urchin exist, the research only focused on the types A and B. Type A of E. mathaei produced 0.44951 g feces per day on average while type B produced 0.38030 g feces per day. CaCO3 analysis in feces and gut contents showed bioerosion rate of E. mathaei type A was 0.64492 g/individu/day, and 0.54436 g/individu/day in type B. There were no significant differences in bioerosion impact of E. mathaei type A and B©

 

Laju erosi pada karang yang disebabkan oleh biota, dikenal dengan bioerosi. Bulu babi jenis Echinometra mathaei, ketika melimpah, menjadi sangat berpengaruh terhadap ekosistem bentik termasuk proses biologi seperti erosi karang. Selama aktivitas makan, E. mathaei menggerus kalsium karbonat dalam proporsi yang besar di samping alga yang tumbuh menempel pada karang sehingga memiliki peran penting dalam siklus karbon organik dan anorganik di ekosistem terumbu karang. Bulu babi E. mathaei aktif mencari makan pada malam hari (nocturnal grazer). Meskipun di Okinanawa ada 4 tipe (A-D), pada eksperimen kali ini memfokuskan pada tipe A dan B saja. Tipe A E. mathaei rata-rata memproduksi 0,44951 g feses/hari dan tipe B memproduksi 0,38030 g feses/hari. Berdasarkan analisis CaCO3 yang dilakukan pada feses dan isi lambung, laju bioerosi yang disebabkan oleh E. mathaei tipe A sebesar 0,64492 g/individu/hari sedangkan tipe B sebesar 0,54436 g/individu/hari. Tidak terdapat perbedaan dampak bioerosi yang signifikan antara E. mathaei tipe A dan B©


Keywords


feeding behavior; bioerosion; rock-boring urchin; coral reefs; Okinawa

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   e-ISSN 2337-5000

 

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