To clarify the differences in the growth and gonad size of the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus among algal sere, the study was conducted in June and July, and September 1998 at three fucoid beds in Oga and at three algal turfs in Hachimori, Akita Prefecture in northern Japan. The most rapid growth was observed in a large perennial fucoid bed at the climax stage. Growth in a small perennial Chondrus ocellatus-dominated bed in algal turfs in the seral stage was then high. The slowest growth was observed in the small perennial Dictyopteris divaricata- and Laurencia spp.-dominated beds which are known to possess chemicals which act as feeding deterrents against the sea urchins. The gonad index (gonad wet weight × 100/body wet weight) at a fucoid bed was high where standing crops exceeded 3 kg-m-2. The gonad index in the Laurencia bed was lower than those at fucoid beds. These results suggest that growth and gonad production are affected by algal sere and differ among species of small perennial algae in the seral stage with or without chemical defense.
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