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Free Content Motility of Didemnid Ascidian Colonies

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In aquaria, Diplosoma virens colonies (2–6 mm diameter) exhibited autonomous locomotion at average speeds of 4.7 ± 0.53 mm per 12-h period. They moved more frequently on vertical surfaces than on horizontal surfaces. Motility may allow this ascidian to position itself in light conditions favorable to its algal symbionts. In nature, Trididemnum solidum colonies were also observed to move, but more slowly, probably by a combination of growth and regression. Such didemnid ascidians may frequently change the occupation of space in coral reef communities by moving about, overgrowing and killing coelenterate tissue, then regressing and leaving the substratum open for invasion by other species.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1981-01-01

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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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