Ecology and natural history of the protochordates

TitleEcology and natural history of the protochordates
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
Refereed DesignationRefereed
AuthorsLambert, G.
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Pagination34 - 50
Date Published2005

The last comprehensive reviews of ecology and natural history of ascidians were included in the excellent 1971 publication by Millar on the biology of ascidians and the 1991 treatise on New Caledonia ascidians by Monniot, Monniot, and Laboute. Several hundred papers have been published since that time, greatly expanding our knowledge of environmental tolerances and responses to increasing levels of anthropogenically derived toxins in marine waters, energetics and feeding strategies, predator-prey relationships, competition both intra- and inter-specific that include many studies of self-nonself recognition in colonial species, modes and environmental regulation of reproduction and development, symbionts, natural-product chemistry as antifouling and antipredator defenses, and dispersal mechanisms. The relatively new field of molecular genetics is revealing the presence of cryptic species and is helping to determine the origin of anthropogenically transported individuals, an important and growing problem that affects natural ecological relationships in marine communities worldwide. We are learning more about the difficult-to-study abyssal and Antarctic species. There have been great advances in our understanding of the importance in open-ocean food webs of the planktonic Appendicularia and Thaliacea. Also included in this review is a brief discussion of recent work on the Cephalochordata and Hemichordata

Short TitleCan. J. Zool.Rev. can. zool.Revue canadienne de zoologie