BIOTIC Species Information for Amphiura chiajei
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formStellate
Feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesOrganic detritus. HabitFree living
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate0.5 mm/year
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationFeeding method
Amphiura chiajei buries in the sediment with its disc at 4-6 cm depth. One or two arms are stretched up above the sediment to collect food at the surface. Food particles are then transported along the arms to its mouth and ingested (Buchanan, 1964).
Population densities
The species is mostly found in low numbers throughout its range, although a number of high density populations are reported. Survey work by Keegan & Mercer (1986) revealed Amphiura chiajei to be a dominant member of the bottom community in Killary Harbour (a fjord-like inlet on the west coast of Ireland). The highly dense population of about 700 individuals per m², occurred in sediments with a silt/clay content of 80-90% and organic carbon levels of 5-7%. In contrast, Buchanan (1964) reported the mean population density of Amphiura chiajei to be 13 individuals per m² off the Northumbrian coast.
Interactions with other species
The heart urchin, Brissopsis lyrifera, which typically co-occurs with Amphiura chiajei, can negatively affect the growth of body and gonads of Amphiura chiajei, whilst Amphiura chiajei seemingly has no effect on the growth of Brissopsis lyrifera. Hollertz et al. (1998) suggested that this was attributable to the extensive bioturbation of the sediment caused by Brissopsis lyrifera.
Biology References Buchanan, 1964, Keegan & Mercer,1986, Hollertz et al., 1998, Aizenberg et al., 2001, Hayward & Ryland, 1990,
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