Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

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Navarro P.G.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente
American Malacological Bulletin | Year: 2014

We used artificial substrates to investigate the seasonal variation in colonization patterns of subtidal prosobranch gastropods in Gran Canaria (Canary Island, Spain, north-eastern Atlantic), via monthly deployment of artificial substrates throughout an entire annual cycle from February 2009 to January 2010, on each of four habitat patches (seagrasses, sandy patches, 'urchin-grazed' barrens and macroalgaldominated beds) within a coastal landscape. A total of 8,524 prosobranch gastropods, including 12 dominant taxa, were collected as postlarval, juvenile, and adult individuals. In general the amount of variability explained by the type of habitat slightly dominated over seasonal variation, which was outweighed by variation from month to month, to explain colonization patterns. Throughout the study, larger numbers of colonizers of Bittium spp. (Leach in Gray, 1847), Columbella adansoni (Menke, 1853), Gibberula caelata (Monterosato, 1877), Mitra spp. (Lamarck, 1798), Rissoa spp. (Freminville in Desmarest, 1814), and Smaragdia viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) were observed in artificial substrates deployed in vegetated substrates, highlighting the relevance of vegetation as a matrix habitat for subtidal prosobranch gastropods. Cerithium rupestre (Risso, 1986) and Clavatula mystica (Reeve, 1843), however, were mainly observed on sandy patches. Rissoa spp. showed a peak in the arrival of new colonizers during spring-early summer whereas Tricolia pullus canarica (Nordsieck, 1973) showed a peak during winterearly spring. Importantly, the other prosobranch gastropods did not show significant differences in the arrival of colonizers between annual seasons. In summary, these results demonstrate that seasonality is strongly outweighed by small-scale temporal variability (here variation from month to month) and the type of habitat patch as drivers of prosobranch gastropod colonization patterns in coastal landscapes.


Garcia-Sanz S.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Navarro P.G.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente | Landeira J.M.,University of La Laguna | Tuya F.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Journal of Crustacean Biology | Year: 2014

Understanding colonization of new habitats by recruits is essential to comprehend local abundance patterns of adult populations. Colonization of benthic habitats by new colonizers is achieved through the influx of larvae from the water column and movements from adjacent habitats. Colonization, i.e., the composition and abundance of new colonizers, into a focal habitat may be affected by surrounding habitats. In this study, we investigated seasonal variation through an annual cycle in postlarval settlement patterns of decapod crustaceans colonizing artificial collectors on different habitats, in particular: Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows, sandy patches, "urchin-grazed" barrens and macroalgal-dominated beds, which are arranged in patches within seascapes in the eastern Atlantic. Our results showed that: 1) decapods, at least some species, settle preferentially on artificial collectors deployed on vegetated substrates when compared to those deployed on unvegetated substrates; 2) despite most decapods have a planktonic larval phase with wide oceanic dispersal, the presence of crustaceans in particular habitats suggests a great specificity at their early post-larval stages; and 3) although subtropical waters of Gran Canaria have a weak seasonal variation, early postlarval stages of decapod crustaceans showed two distinct settlement periods, i.e., a "cold" and a "warm" season. © Copyright 2014 by The Crustacean Society.


Navarro P.G.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente | Navarro P.G.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Garcia-Sanz S.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Tuya F.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2014

Many sea cucumber species are subjected to exponentially increasing fisheries worldwide; management of their populations should take into account their behavior. Yet, studies relating feeding rates and displacement of sea cucumbers are, to date, scarce. The abundance, particulate organic matter (POM) consumption and displacement of the sea cucumber Holothuria arguinensis were compared between two adjacent, vegetated, habitats: a macroalgal dominated bed and a seagrass meadow formed by Cymodocea nodosa, at the island of Gran Canaria (eastern Atlantic). Abundances of H. arguinensis did not differ between the macroalgal bed and the seagrass meadow. No differences were found neither in POM consumption nor POM content between habitats. Movement of H. arguinensis occurred continuously during the day and nighttime, i.e. without resting periods. No sheltering behavior was observed. Faster and longer displacements were detected on the seagrass meadow than in the macroalgal bed, probably as a result of the different topography between habitats, independently of the daily period (day vs. night) and the moon phase. As a result, differences in locomotion of H. arguinensis between the two habitats are not connected with differences in POM consumption rates between habitats. These results could be useful for managing current and future fisheries of this species in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Garcia-Sanz S.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Navarro P.G.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente | Png-Gonzalez L.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Tuya F.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Marine Biology Research | Year: 2016

Changes in light intensity, typically over the course of a day, affect the dispersion of aquatic organisms at short temporal scales. Amphipods, for example, have strong behavioural responses to light conditions. In this study, we used amphipod assemblages inhabiting a Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadow on the east coast of Gran Canaria Island (eastern Atlantic) to test whether short-term dispersion of seagrass-associated amphipods differed between day and night, testing the consistency throughout an entire lunar cycle. Replicated artificial seagrass units were deployed, and subsequently retrieved, during the day (from 8:00 am to 18:00 pm) and the night (from 18:00 pm to 8:00 am) on three consecutive days within each of the four moon phases of a complete lunar cycle. We collected 13,467 amphipods corresponding to 32 species and 17 families. Significantly larger abundances of amphipods were collected during the night through the entire moon cycle. The total abundance of amphipods was also affected by the moon phases; under full moon, larger abundances of amphipods dispersed into the artificial seagrass units followed by the third quarter, the new moon and the first quarter. The species density of amphipods per unit followed the same pattern. In conclusion, the short-term dispersion of amphipods living in a seagrass meadow was considerably greater during the night than the day, while dispersion of amphipods was more intense under full moon. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


Navarro P.G.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente | Navarro P.G.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Garcia-Sanz S.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Barrio J.M.,Viceconsejeria de Medioambiente | Tuya F.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Marine Biology | Year: 2013

Sea cucumbers are conspicuous organisms inhabiting almost all marine habitats across the globe. Despite their importance as effective consumers of detritus, little is known about their behavior. We studied organic matter (OM) consumption and nocturnal movement patterns of Holothuria sanctori through indoors assays and in situ experiments at shallow bottoms off Gran Canaria Island (Canary Islands, Spain). H. sanctori has a selective feeding toward high OM concentration sediments. Consumption of OM increased with OM availability, particularly during formation of the gonads. OM consumption did not differ in situ between two adjacent habitats arranged in mosaics: macroalgal beds and urchin-grazed "barrens." Larger distances and fastest displacements were covered by H. sanctori during the end than the middle and start of the nighttime. Overall, we did not detect a clear "homing" behavior by H. sanctori, yet some individuals showed a fidelity for refuges when shelter availability was lacking. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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