Prey-capture rates in four Mediterranean cold water corals
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AuthorsTsounis, G. (Georgios); Orejas, C. (Covadonga); Reynaud, S. (Stéphanie); Gili, J.M. (Josep Maria); Allemand, D. (Denis); Ferrier-Pagès, C. (Christine)
KeywordsCold water corals
Little is known about the basic biology of deep-water coral species. In this study, we experimentally assessed the rates of ingestion of Artemia salina adults and nauplii by the 4 Mediterranean cold water coral species Dendrophyllia cornigera, Desmophyllum cristagalli, Madrepora oculata, and Lophelia pertusa. All species ingested A. salina in adult and nauplii forms. L. pertusa showed the highest grazing rate for both prey types, whereas M. oculata showed the lowest capture rates among the 4 species, and was practically unable to ingest adult prey. Capture rates of the 4 coral species ranged between 5 and 8 adult A. salina, and 50 and 280 nauplii polyp–1 h–1. Surprisingly, both capture rates and carbon uptake (adult Artemia ingestion: 994 to 3542 µg C polyp–1 h–1; nauplii ingestion: 78.1 to 462 µg C polyp–1 h–1) were within the range of values found in some tropical corals (which often ingest 0.004 to 3600 prey items polyp–1 h–1). The results show that the capture rates and energy input ...