Larval settlement in echinoderms: a review of processes and patterns

Doll, Peter C., Caballes, Ciemon F., Hoey, Andrew S., Uthicke, Sven, Ling, Scott D., and Pratchett, Morgan S. (2022) Larval settlement in echinoderms: a review of processes and patterns. Oceanography and Marine Biology, 60. pp. 433-494.

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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 ID: 77155
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2154-9125
Keywords: Marine Ecology; Environmental Cues; Settlement Induction; Larval Behaviour; Metamorphosis; Recruitment; Marine Benthic Invertebrates
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Copyright Information: Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-ND.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2023 00:33
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 90%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 80%
10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100299 Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 10%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 10%
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