Planktonic food availability and suspension feeder abundance evidence of in situ depletion

Buss, L.W.; Jackson, J.B.C.

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 49(2-3): 151-162


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0981
DOI: 10.1016/0022-0981(81)90067-8
Accession: 006125391

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Substrata were arranged to allow in situ [Buoy Reef, Discovery Bay, Jamaica] measurement of particle depletion as a function of the abundance of suspension-feeders and time. The abundance of 2 suspension-feeding groups, bryozoans and sponges, and of 2 planktonic fractions, naked and bacterial cells, were monitored. In 1 experiment, organism-cover increased through time and in another it remained low through time. As organism-cover increased, food availability/organism decreased; when it remained low, food availability remained high. High levels of depletion measured suggest the possibility of competition for food in dense assemblages of suspension feeders.