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Food composition of crinoids (Crinoidea: Echinodermata) in relation to stalk length and fan density: their paleoecological implications
Kitazawa, K.; Oji, T.; Sunamura, M. (2007). Food composition of crinoids (Crinoidea: Echinodermata) in relation to stalk length and fan density: their paleoecological implications. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 152(4): 959-968. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-007-0746-5
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Kitazawa, K.
  • Oji, T.
  • Sunamura, M.

Abstract
    Crinoids have been diverse organisms in marine epifaunal filter feeding communities at any level of tiering above the substrate since they appeared in the Ordovician. Feeding is regarded as the most important factor in producing the crinoid tiering, which is primarily defined by stalk length. The gut contents of five sympatric crinoid species (three isocrines and two comatulids) were observed, and these were compared with the stalk length and the fan density. We have classified these crinoid species into four groups based on the stalk length and fan density, e.g., long stalk with low fan density, long stalk with high fan density, short stalk with low fan density, and short stalk with high fan density. In the gut contents, diatom crusts were found mainly from species with longer stalks, and chlorophyll-like fluorescent material were only detected from the groups with a shorter or no stalk. The group with lower fan density contained more inorganic particles than the group with higher fan density. Therefore, the gut contents and their amounts depend on their stalk lengths and their fan densities. The results imply that diversified morphologies in the crinoids have evolved through adaptations to different ecological factors such as difference in their diets.

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