Last week, I told you about experiments I would be starting at MaST aquarium in Des Moines, WA. I’m happy to report that the urchin tanks (aka kiddie pools) are up and running! A small number of specimens have been moved into the tanks. I’ll let them acclimate for a week or so to ensure that everything is functioning properly. Then, it will be time for experiments.
I’ll be trying a variety of different approaches – urchin corrals, sponge barriers, and tethering. The objective is to find a way to contain urchins without significantly altering physical conditions (such as water flow). With each method, and particularly with tethering, I’ll be testing whether the technique alters how urchins feed. This is important because the urchins themselves will later be the experimental treatment in the field when I test whether urchin feeding alters the biological community on subtidal riprap.
University of Washington, Department of Biology
Seattle, WA 98195-1800