Living Reference Work Entry

Marine Animal Forests

pp 1-42

Date: Latest Version

Energetics, Particle Capture, and Growth Dynamics of Benthic Suspension Feeders


Marine benthic communities are dominated by suspension feeders, including those actively pumping water, passively encountering particles, or some combination of the two. The mechanisms by which particles are encountered and retained are now well known for a range of water flow conditions and organism morphologies. Recent research has attempted to quantify the energetic components of suspension feeding, including intake of particles, pumping rates, and metabolic costs of these activities. Energetic models depend strongly on environmental conditions, including temperature, flow speed, and food availability, for example. The effects of these variables have been combined for realistic scenarios using dynamic energy budget (DEB) models, and related models to examine components of fitness (growth, reproduction, population increase), for both existing conditions and for conditions expected for future environments. Detailed examples are provided from recent research on bivalve mollusks, cnidarians including sea anemones and corals, and barnacles. These examples cover several major phyla that are often important components of intertidal and subtidal benthic communities. All common phyla of benthic suspension feeders are discussed, though less extensively, especially given the paucity of energetics studies for some of these phyla.


Energetics Suspension feeding Benthos Particle capture Dynamic energy budget