|The biology of Phoronida|
Emig, C.C. (1982). The biology of Phoronida. Adv. Mar. Biol. 19: 1-89
In: Advances in Marine Biology. Academic Press: London, New York. ISSN 0065-2881, more
Phoronida [WoRMS]; Marine
Since the last decade, the view that the Phoronida form a “minor phylum” has changed on account of their world-wide distribution, their ecological interest and their phylogenetic relationships. Known since the Devonian, the Phoronida, an exclusively marine group, are regarded as a class of the phylum Lophophorata (Emig, 1977a). As a result of the development of ecological investigations, our knowledge of the biology of the Phoronida has advanced in different disciplines. It is only recently that the variability in the taxonomic characteristics has become sufficiently known to establish the systematics of those phoronid species which are currently recognized (Emig, 1971a, 1974a, 1979). Larval development and the systematics of the actinotroch larvae also need detailed study. The extensive controversies concerning the phylogenetic relationships of the Phoronida have been in general due to lack of knowledge of embryonic and larval morphology and development. In addition, some basic aspects of the biology of the Phoronida still need to be studied in detail. Thus, the aim of the present review is to stimulate questions which have to be answered in future investigations, and have become necessary since the previous reviews by Cori (1939) and Hyman (1959).