All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Stephen A Watts

Advisory Committee Members

Addison L Lawrence

Mickie L Powell

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences


Formulated feeds that support weight gain and survival in juvenile sea urchins are necessary for successful sea urchin aquaculture. In Chapter 1, juvenile Lytechinus variegatus were fed ad libitum one of four experimental feeds: 1) mixed-taxa algal biofilm (MTAB), 2) freeze-dried MTAB, 3) a commercial, small mammal feed (Friskies® cat treats), or 4) a commercial, formulated feed for sea urchins. The MTAB and sea urchin feed supported weight gain and survival, suggesting that juveniles as small as 3 to 4 mm can utilize formulated feeds for growth. In Chapter 2, juvenile Lytechinus variegatus were fed ad libitum one of five feeds: three semi-purified, formulated feeds with constant protein (31% dry weight) and varying levels of dietary carbohydrate, low, medium, and high (19, 26, and 38% dry weight, respectively); one semi-purified, formulated feed with high protein (45% dry weight) and medium carbohydrate (24% dry weight); and a live, mixed-taxa algal biofilm (MTAB). Sea urchins fed the 19% carbohydrate and 24% carbohydrate, 45% protein feed gained significantly more weight over the 8-wk study. For those sea urchins fed feeds that varied only in carbohydrate level, we hypothesize that weight gain, while inversely proportional to carbohydrate level, was directly related to consumption. Sea urchins fed the 19% feed consumed the same amount of protein as sea urchins fed the 24% carbohydrate, 45% protein feed, and all treatments consumed the same amount of energy. In consuming feeds to meet a possible energy requirement, the sea urchins that consumed more feed also consumed more protein, as well as other nutrients, which resulted in ii higher weight gain. Consequently, protein: energy ratio may be important in determining feed utilization and growth. Sea urchins fed the formulated feeds had measurable gonads at a minimum diameter of at least 13 mm. Finally, we suggest that more information is needed to determine the effects of leaching in nutrition studies.



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