The influence of flow velocity and temperature on zooplankton capture rates by the cold-water coral Dendrophyllia cornigera
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AuthorsGori, A. (Andrea); Reynaud, S. (Stéphanie); Orejas, C. (Covadonga); Ferrier-Pagès, C. (Christine)
Food supply is one of the main factors driving cold-water corals (CWC) distribution, which often concentrate on ridges where local near-bed turbulence/strong currents enhance food availability. However, efficiency in food capture is strongly dependent on current velocity. Moreover, seawater temperature may also affect feeding success, since polyp contraction or nematocyst function could be slower at temperatures belowthe natural thermal range of a species. The non-reef forming CWC Dendrophyllia cornigera occurs in areas at temperatures from 11 to 17 °C, but is apparently absent from most CWC reefs at temperatures constantly below 11 °C. This study thus aimed to assess if a reduction in feeding capacity may contribute to understand the absence of this CWC from strictly cold environments. The efficiency of D. cornigera to capture meso- and macrozooplankton was assessed under different flow speeds (2, 5 and 10 cm s− 1) and temperatures (8, 12, and 16 °C). Flow speeds did not ...
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