Research by marine biologists from Wageningen University has shown that feeding on zooplankton by scleractinian corals has been greatly underestimated.
|Written by Tim Wijgerde|
Alveopora gigas (Veron, 1985)
Alveopora gigas is a hermatypic, zooxanthellate coral. Species from this genus all harbour zooxanthellae. Alveopora spp. have polyps with twelve tentacles, unlike their close relatives from the genus Goniopora which all have 24. These corals thrive in plankton-rich waters. Plankton uptake is usually not visible macroscopically, however particles in the pico- and nanoplankton ranges (2 - 20 μm), such as bacteria and small protozoa, may be taken up by beating cilia and flagella located on and inside the polyps.
Veron, J.E.N. and M. Stafford Smith, 2000. Corals of the world. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville. 1382 pp.