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Contrasting metabolic strategies of two co-occurring deep-sea octocorals
Rakka, M.; Maier, S.R.; Van Oevelen, D.; Godinho, A.; Bilan, M.; Orejas, C.; Carreiro-Silva, M. (2021). Contrasting metabolic strategies of two co-occurring deep-sea octocorals. NPG Scientific Reports 11(1): 10633.

Bijhorende data:
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Auteurs  Top 
  • Rakka, M.
  • Maier, S.R., meer
  • van Oevelen, D., meer
  • Godinho, A.
  • Bilan, M.
  • Orejas, C.
  • Carreiro-Silva, M.

    The feeding biology of deep-sea octocorals remains poorly understood, as attention is more often directed to reef building corals. The present study focused on two common deep-water octocoral species in the Azores Archipelago, Dentomuricea aff. meteor and Viminella flagellum, aiming at determining their ability to exploit different food sources. We adopted an experimental approach, with three different food sources, including live phytoplankton, live zooplankton and dissolved organic matter (DOM), that were artificially enriched with 13C and 15N (C and N tracers). The presence of tracers was subsequently followed in the coral tissue, C respiration and particulate organic C and N (POC and PON) release. In both species, feeding with zooplankton resulted in significantly higher incorporation of tracers in all measured variables, compared to the other food sources, highlighting the importance of zooplankton for major physiological processes. Our results revealed contrasting metabolic strategies between the two species, with D. aff. meteor acquiring higher amounts of prey and allocating higher percentage to respiration and release of POC and PON than V. flagellum. Such metabolic differences can shape species fitness and distributions and have further ecological implications on the ecosystem function of communities formed by different octocoral species.

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