Nutritional diversity of symbiotic ascidians in a Fijian seagrass meadow

Isao Koike, Takao Suzuki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    In a coastal lagoon of Dravuni Island, Fiji, at least six species of compound ascidians, some of them harboring Prochloron as symbiotic algae, were found in a Syringodium-dominated seagrass meadow. Based on their heterotrophic (filter feeding rates) and autotrophic (photosynthetic) activities, carbon gain of the ascidians was categorized into two groups: (i) supported by heterotrophic metabolism; and (ii) supported by both heterotrophic and autotrophic metabolisms. Didemnum molle, Lissoclinum bistratum and Lissoclinum voeltzkowi belong to the latter group, and the relative contribution of the autotrophic process was a significant portion of their carbon gain (52-74%). These symbiotic ascidians were found in light microhabitats, while the heterotrophic species occupied shady environments rich in suspended organic materials, such as the sheath surface of the seagrass.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-386
    Number of pages6
    JournalEcological Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1996 Dec


    • energy metabolism
    • symbiotic ascidians
    • tropical seagrass bed

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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