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Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae$
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Tyler Carrier, Adam Reitzel, and Andreas Heyland

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786962.001.0001

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Physiology of Larval Feeding

Physiology of Larval Feeding

(p.124) Chapter 9 Physiology of Larval Feeding
Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae
William Jaeckle
Oxford University Press

The functional properties of marine invertebrate larvae represent the sum of the physiological activities of the individual, the interdependence among cells making up the whole, and the correct positioning of cells within the larval body. This chapter examines physiological aspects of nutrient acquisition, digestion, assimilation, and distribution within invertebrate larvae from an organismic and comparative perspective. Growth and development of larvae obviously require the acquisition of “food.” Yet the mechanisms where particulate or dissolved organic materials are converted into biomass and promote development of larvae differ and are variably known among groups. Differences in the physiology of the digestive system (secreted enzymes, gut transit time, and assimilation) within and among feeding larvae suggest the possibility of an underappreciated plasticity of digestive physiology. How the ingestion of seawater by and the existence of a circulatory system within larvae contribute to larval growth and development represent important topics for future research.

Keywords:   digestive physiology, assimilation

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