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Free Content Circulation and Digestion of Food in the Gastrovascular System of Gorgonian Octocorals (Cnidaria; Anthozoa)

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Colonies of Pseudoplexaura porosa were fed radioactive food while in situ on the reef, then collected after various elapsed times. The distribution of radioactivity in each colony was determined and chemical fractionation of the coral tissues with TCA and ethanol was used to provide an indication of the progress of digestion and assimilation of the food. Much of the food is assimilated near the point of ingestion. Digestion proceeds rapidly and resembles that reported for the sea anemone Aiptasia. Currents measured in the stem canals of nine species of gorgonians gave estimates of maximum speeds ranging from 0.55 mm sec−1 to 0.97 mm sec−1 with most values in the upper part of the range. Some observations are presented on the behavior of currents in the gastrovascular canals.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1978-04-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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