BIOTIC Species Information for Amphiura filiformis
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formRadial
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesPlankton and detritus. HabitFree living
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate0.20-1.67% body weight per day
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
  • Typical abundance: High density populations (i.e. higher than an arbitrary figure of 150/m²) of Amphiura filiformis are common in the north east Atlantic Ocean and occur in sediments having silt/clay levels of about 10 to 20%. For example, in Galway Bay, Ireland, populations studied over an 8 year period had a maximum of 904 individuals per m² (O'Connor et al., 1983). Low density populations also occur along the north west European coastline.
  • Size: Sizes at maturity given are from a population of Amphiura filiformis studied in Galway Bay, Ireland (O'Connor et al., 1983). Sköld et al. (2001) reported similar sizes. The disc diameter of Amphiura filiformis shows annual increases and decreases associated with sexual maturity. Maximum size is attained in August, just prior to gamete release and is followed by a decrease in mean size (O'Connor et al., 1983).
  • Growth rate: Muus (1981) reported that newly settled recruits have a disc diameter of 0.3 mm and that they take 2 years to reach a size of 1.3 mm. However, Sköld et al. (2001) suggested that after 2 years, a disk size of ca 4 mm (concomitant with adult size and hence sexual maturity) could be attained. Josefson (1995) estimates the main part of disc growth occurs within the first 5 to 7 years of life. Sköld et al. (2001) studied post-larval recruits in the Gullmarsfjord and reported an asymptotic sigmoidal growth pattern for Amphiura filiformis (when growth data for adults and juveniles were combined). Specific growth rates of the post-larval settlers was 0.42% per day (disk diameter) and 1.76% per day (mean arm length) Sköld et al. (2001). Somatic and germinal growth rates may be enhanced by, for example, nutrient enrichment (Sköld & Gunnarsson, 1996) or temperature (see sensitivity section).
  • Feeding method: Amphiura filiformis feed on suspended material in flowing water, but will change to deposit feeding in stagnant water or areas of very low water flow (Ockelmann & Muus, 1978). Suspension feeding capability is attained after about one year, at which point juveniles experienced exponential growth rates ( Sköld et al., 2001).
Biology References Loo et al., 1996, Muus, 1981, O'Connor et al., 1983, Ockelmann & Muus, 1978, Josefson, 1995, Sköld et al., 2001, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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