Novel shaker bottle cultivation method for the long spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum; Philippi, 1845) results in high larval survival and settlement rates

The long spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum was an abundant grazer on Caribbean coral reefs, until
1983–1984, when densities were reduced by ~98% during a region wide die-off. Since then, there has been very
little natural recovery of the species and interest is growing in applying aquaculture as a tool for population
enhancement. In this study we optimized a new shaker bottle cultivation method for D. antillarum. The method
was tested in a series of experiments by culturing D. antillarum from egg to juvenile in the Netherlands as well as
the USA. Larvae were cultured in standard 1-L glass reagent bottles, suspended by gentle constant movement on
an orbital shaking table and fed with either the microalgae Rhodomonas lens or Rhodomonas salina. Effects on
larval growth and survival were evaluated for different microalgal feeding concentrations, larval densities, and
culture temperatures. Larval density and growth were measured twice a week over a period of up to 56 days.
Larvae grew significantly faster on a higher feeding concentration up to 90,000 Rhodomonas sp. cells mL

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