BIOTIC Species Information for Echinocardium cordatum
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonSpring and summer Reproductive LocationWater column
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span11-20 years Age at reproductive maturity
Generation timeInsufficient information Fecundity1000000
Egg/propagule size Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • Life span: Observation of populations of Echinocardium cordatum over a period of 7 years suggests the species has a life span greater than 10 years (Buchanan, 1966; Hayward et al., 1996). However, in the Mediterranean Guillou (1985) suggests the life span is one or two years.
  • Age at maturity: On the north-east coast of England a littoral population bred for the first time when three years old. In the warmer waters of the west of Scotland breeding has been recorded at the end of the second year (Fish & Fish, 1996). However, it has been observed that subtidal populations appear never to reach sexual maturity (Buchanan, 1967).
  • Recruitment: Often sporadic, with reports of Echinocardium cordatum recruiting in only 3 years over a 10 year period (Buchanan, 1966) although this relates to subtidal populations. Intertidal individuals reproduce more frequently.
  • The sexes are separate and fertilization external, with the development of a pelagic larva (Fish & Fish, 1996). The fact that Echinocardium cordatum is to be found associated with several different bottom communities would indicate that the larvae are not highly selective and discriminatory and it is probable that the degree of discrimination in 'larval choice' becomes diminished with the age of the larvae (Buchanan, 1966). Metamorphosis of larvae takes place within 39 days after fertilization (Kashenko, 1994).
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward et al., 1996, Buchanan, 1966, Buchanan, 1967, Guillou, 1985, Kashenko, 1994, Julie Bremner, unpub data, Rees & Dare, 1993,
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