"Antarctic Echinoids" is an interactive database synthesising the results of
more than 100 years of Antarctic expeditions. It comprises information about
81 echinoid species present southward of the Antarctic convergence. It
includes illustrated keys for the determination of the species, and information
about their morphology and ecology (text, ... illustrations, and glossary), their
distribution (maps and histograms of bathymetrical distribution); the sources
of the information (bibliography, collections and expeditions) are also
Echinoids constitute an abundant and diverse component of the benthic
communities in the Antarctic. This was demonstrated by 130 years of Antarctic
expeditions and well documented by numerous publications as well as by museum
and private collections. During previous researches on Antarctic echinoids, the
Laboratory of Marine Biology, in close collaboration with the department of
Biogeosciences of the University of Burgundy, has realised taxonomical and
biogeographical studies as well as extensive bibliographical surveys. The
echinoid samples stored in Museum or private collections in addition to
recently collected samples (e.g.echinoids collected during the recent
expeditions of the French TAAF or during EPOS) have been studied. Altogether
these studies have led to draw up a list of 81 echinoid species present
southward of the Antarctic convergence.
Symbioses in the Antarctic echinoids are few documented. Preliminary
observations however indicate that a wide variety of taxa live in or on the
body of echinoids. The Laboratory has gathered data on ectosymbioses (primarily
observed on cidaroids) which mostly correspond to epizoism and parasitism.
Because the primary spines of cidaroids lack an efficient antifouling
mechanism, they are extensively coated by a variety of epibionts that include
algae, animals or fungi.
The Laboratory thus gathered and ordered a wide set of data on Antarctic
echinoids. This has led to realise an interactive database and to conceive to
make it a powerful tool for extracting and crossing synthetic information about
the Antarctic echinoid fauna. This CD-ROM database provides a precise state of
knowledge of the today echinoid biodiversity and biology in Antarctica. Data is
available on the SCAR-MarBIN webportal.