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Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 1, pp 301–311 | Cite as

Availability of dissolved organic matter offsets metabolic costs of a protracted larval period for Bugula neritina (Bryozoa)

  • Collin H. Johnson
  • Dean E. Wendt
Original Article

Abstract

For nearly a century researchers have investigated the uptake and utilization of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by marine invertebrates, but its contribution to their growth, reproduction, and survival remains unclear. Here, the benefit of DOM uptake was assessed for the marine bryozoan Bugula neritina (Linnaeus 1758) through performance comparisons of individuals in the presence and absence of DOM. The experiments were performed using B. neritina collected from floating docks in Beaufort, NC, USA from July to September 2004. Seawater was subjected to ultraviolet irradiation to reduce naturally occurring DOM, and then enriched with either 1 μM of palmitic acid or a mixture containing 1 μM each of glucose, alanine, aspartic acid and glycine. Larvae in DOM-enriched and DOM-reduced treatments were sampled and induced to metamorphose following 1, 6, 12, and 24 h of continuous swimming at 25°C. Sampled larvae were assessed for initiation of metamorphosis, completion of metamorphosis, and ancestrular lophophore size to determine the extent to which energy acquired from DOM uptake could offset the metabolic costs of prolonged larval swimming. DOM treatment had no significant effect on initiation of metamorphosis, but did have a significant effect on completion of metamorphosis and lophophore size. Larvae swimming in DOM-enriched treatments for 24 h experienced a 20% increase in metamorphic completion rate, compared to larvae swimming for 24 h in the DOM-reduced treatment. In addition, larvae in the amino acid and sugar mixture for 24 h had a significantly larger lophophore surface area and volume (23 and 31%, respectively), compared to larvae in DOM-depleted seawater. To ensure that the increases in performance found in larvae with access to DOM were not due to a decrease in metabolic activity, the respiration rates for these larvae were compared to those of larvae in DOM-depleted seawater. There were no significant differences between these treatments, indicating that the increases in performance were due to the energy acquired from DOM. These results clearly show that for B. neritina, DOM uptake results in increased metamorphic success and in the size of the feeding apparatus following an extended larval swimming duration.

Keywords

Total Organic Carbon Dissolve Organic Matter Mixture Treatment Larva Swimming Energetic Reserve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank George Trevelyan (The Abalone Farm, Cayucos, CA) for graciously providing abalone larvae and technical assistance. Craig Carlson (UCSB) conducted the TOC analysis and provided suggestions improving the study. We also thank Dan Rittschof (Duke University Marine Lab) for allowing portions of this study to be conducted in his lab, and Beatriz Orihuela de Diaz for her technical assistance and procurement of adult colonies. We are grateful to Robert Smidt (California Polytechnic State University) for lending his expertise on statistical analysis. Two anonymous reviewers provided thoughtful comments improving this manuscript. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (Grant # IBN-0130634, awarded to D.E. Wendt), the Office of Naval Research (N00014-02-093, awarded to D.E. Wendt) and Cal Poly Student Fees.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biological Sciences Department and Center for Coastal Marine SciencesCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA
  2. 2.MCZ labsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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