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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 328:307-311 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps328307

Feeding mechanism of the polychaete Sabellaria alveolata revisited: reply to Riisgård & Nielsen (2006)

Stanislas Dubois1,2,*, Laurent Barillé1, Bruno Cognie1, Peter Beninger1

1Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Laboratoire d’Écophysiologie Marine Intégrée, EA 2663, Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques, BP 92 208, 44322 Nantes cedex 3, France
2Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, 202 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808-1715, USA

ABSTRACT: The high-speed videos provided by Riisgård & Nielsen (2006; this volume) allow new insights into Sabellaria alveolata feeding processes, but the interpretation of these video observations is compromised both by artifacts of sample preparation and premature dismissal of our findings in Dubois et al. (2005; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 301:159–171). S. alveolata appears clearly to be an active suspension-feeder, while not using grouped lateral cilia to catch particles directly from the water column, but by using both the grouped lateral cilia and grouped frontal cilia to modify current patterns around tentacular filaments to entrain suspended particles. Evidence of inter-tentacle variability in particle processing and bi-directional transport of particles make the calculation of the clearance rate based on ciliary band inappropriate by clearly overestimating the actual clearance rate of S. alveolata.

KEY WORDS: Sabellaria alveolata · Polychaete · Suspension feeder · Ciliary movements · Tentacular filaments · Grouped frontal cilia · Video endoscopy

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