Long-term Growth Study of Male and Female Green Sea Urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, under Constant Light and Temperature Regime
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society ; Volume 45. p. 481–486.
Juvenile green sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, with an initial mean test diameter of 9.5mm(±1.2 SD) were held in the laboratory, in individual compartments and at constant temperatures (8.5 C) (n=90) for a period of 99 wk. The animals were supplied with flow-through sea water, and fed the Nofima sea urchin manufactured feed ad libitum. Growth, survival, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and gonad index (GI) of the sea urchins were monitored during this period. The mortality was 11% throughout the experimental period. The test diameter (TD) increased significantly with time, best described by a polynomial equation (TD=0.8756+0.584Time−0.002Time2, R2 =0.995). Sex was included as dummy variable, but did not contribute significantly; hence, there were no differences in growth trajectories between males and females. The study showed there were no significant differences in body wet weight or FCR between males and females. However at the end of the experiment the female urchins had a significantly higher GI of 31.1% (±4.4), compared with the male urchins which had an average GI of 26.8% (±5.4). In conclusion, the present study showed that male and female green sea urchins have the same growth capacity and feed convention ratio but by the end of the experiment the gonad index was significantly higher in female than male urchins.