Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 481–489 | Cite as

Larval depletion by ascidians has little effect on settlement of epifauna

  • C. M. Young


Ascidian densities were manipulated while controlling for negative effects of biodeposition and space preemption to examine the effects of ascidian filter-feeding on larval recruitment in St. Joseph Bay and near Turkey Point, Florida (Northern Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA). Using three different experimental designs during 1984 and 1985, recruitment near living Styela plicata or Molgula occidentalis was as high as recruitment near ascidian models. Disruption of flow by ascidian bodies had little effect on settlement. Predation rates by ascidians on larvae in six phyla were high in laboratory experiments. The field effects of larval depletion by solitary ascidians are apparently obscured by other factors influencing the abundance of recruiting larvae. Consumption of larvae in the laboratory cannot be used to assume significant inhibitory effects in the field.


Turkey Laboratory Experiment Field Effect Predation Rate Significant Inhibitory Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Marine ScienceHarbor Branch Oceanographic InstitutionFort PierceUSA

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