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Abstract

Stemless comatulid crinoids are ubiquitous on fringing and leeward Bahaman and Caribbean reefs between depths of 10 and 50 m. Five species are found throughout these regions and three others have more limited distribution. The crinoids occupy different ecologic niches within or above the reef, and both current-seeking and current-avoiding forms are present. Densities are as high as 25/m2 in some areas but are usually less than 1/m2. The disarticulation of crinoid skeletons would probably add only 0.04 cm per 1,000 years to the sedimentary record, and this would comprise less than 1% of the total sediment volume in reefal areas.

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