Abstract Title

Session S-09E: Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Species: Threats and Conservation

Presenter/Author Information

Katherine HoltFollow

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

Many species of sea urchins within the genus, Strongylocentrotus, have been documented to suffer from disease. It is likely the causative agent is not the same for all urchin species because the urchins are found in different regions and the disease lesions are not all the same. This study focuses on two disease pathologies commonly known as black ring and red spot, found in the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The causative agent of this disease is currently unidentified and poorly understood. In this study, repeated cold and warm-season field surveys determined density, size structure and disease prevalence in purple sea urchin populations on the open coast and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Logistic regression analysis shows season and region were significantly related to disease prevalence. Higher levels of disease were found during the summer and within the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where the average density and mean size are the greatest. However, it is unclear from these data whether density and size are important drivers of disease dynamics. While the relationship between temperature and disease prevalence is limited, urchins are more likely to be recovering from disease in colder seawater temperatures.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Patterns of Disease of the Purple Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, on the Olympic Peninsula, WA

Room 6C

Many species of sea urchins within the genus, Strongylocentrotus, have been documented to suffer from disease. It is likely the causative agent is not the same for all urchin species because the urchins are found in different regions and the disease lesions are not all the same. This study focuses on two disease pathologies commonly known as black ring and red spot, found in the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The causative agent of this disease is currently unidentified and poorly understood. In this study, repeated cold and warm-season field surveys determined density, size structure and disease prevalence in purple sea urchin populations on the open coast and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Logistic regression analysis shows season and region were significantly related to disease prevalence. Higher levels of disease were found during the summer and within the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where the average density and mean size are the greatest. However, it is unclear from these data whether density and size are important drivers of disease dynamics. While the relationship between temperature and disease prevalence is limited, urchins are more likely to be recovering from disease in colder seawater temperatures.