Bacterivory: A Novel Feeding Mode for Asteroid Larvae

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Science  19 Sep 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4770, pp. 1311-1314
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4770.1311


Planktotrophic larvae that occur beneath the annual sea ice in the Antarctic assimilate organic solutes and preferentially ingest bacteria, whereas they actively exclude phytoplankton. In regions where phytoplankton biomass is temporally limited by light or nutrient concentrations, the growth and development of planktotrophic larvae may not be directly coupled to phytoplankton production.

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