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Nutrition of the temperate Australian soft coral Capnella gaboensis - II. The role of zooxanthellae and feeding

Farrant, P.A., Borowitzka, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0001-6504-4563, Hinde, R. and King, R.J. (1987) Nutrition of the temperate Australian soft coral Capnella gaboensis - II. The role of zooxanthellae and feeding. Marine Biology, 95 (4). pp. 575-581.

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We examined the ability of Capnella gaboensis Verseveldt, 1977 (Coelenterata: Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Nephtheidae) to utilize heterotrophic food sources, and the importance of heterotrophic nutrition and photosynthesis in its diet, by using preserved material and histological sections of field-collected specimens and by means of laboratory experiments in which coral branches were fed with 14C-labelled food of different sizes. The study was conducted from April 1982 to August 1984. C. gaboensis receives nutrition from the photosynthesis of its symbiotic zooxanthellae, Symbiodinium sp., and from heterotrophic sources. Up to 10% of the algal photosynthate was translocated to the animal-host tissues. The contribution of translocated carbon from the zooxanthellae to the daily respiratory carbon requirement of the animal was estimated to be well below 50% in all seasons except in the summer of 1983-1984, indicating that the coral must rely on additional sources of nutrition (i.e., heterotrophy) for most, if not all, of the year. Field (Sydney Harbour: 33°50′S; 151°15′E) and laboratory observations and experiments indicated that this coral probably feeds upon zooplankton, small particulate matter and dissolved organic matter.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 1987 Springer-Verlag.
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