Motility of Didemnid Ascidian Colonies
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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