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Larval settlement in echinoderms: a review of processes and patterns


Doll, PC and Caballes, CF and Hoey, AS and Uthicke, S and Ling, SD and Pratchett, MS, Larval settlement in echinoderms: a review of processes and patterns, Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, Taylor & Francis, SJ Hawkins (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 435-496. ISBN 9781032265056 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2022 The Authors

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DOI: doi:10.1201/9781003288602-9


Echinoderms are a common component of benthic marine ecosystems, with many being ecologically and/or economically important. Like many marine organisms, most echinoderms have a bipartite life history with a planktonic larval phase and a benthic adult phase. The transition between these phases (i.e. settlement) is complex and comprises a cascade of events including the location, exploration and selection of suitable benthic habitat, and metamorphosis to adapt from a pelagic to a benthic lifestyle. This review provides a comprehensive synthesis of the various processes involved in the settlement phase across all five extant classes of echinoderms. Central to the review is a detailed assessment of settlement behaviour and the diverse mechanisms of settlement induction. Most echinoderms, including keystone sea urchins, starfishes and sea cucumbers, do not settle indiscriminately; specific environmental conditions or cues are often necessary for settlement to occur, resulting in marked spatial and temporal variability in settlement rates. Fluctuations in settlement, in turn, lead to major changes in the local abundance of echinoderms and often have profound ecological consequences, due to the pivotal role that many echinoderms play in ecosystem functioning. Given important knowledge gaps persist, this review also explores opportunities for future research to advance our understanding of this critical early life-history phase.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:marine ecology, environmental cues, settlement induction, larval behaviour, metamorphosis, recruitment, marine benthic invertebrates
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Ling, SD (Dr Scott Ling)
ID Code:154206
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT200100949)
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-11-10
Last Modified:2022-12-05

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