Biology of Hydractiniid Hydroids. 1. Colony Ontogeny in Hydractinia Echinata (Flemming)

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Biology (HMC)

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The colonial marine hydroid, Hydractinia echinata, exhibits a wide range of growth morphologies during ontogeny, from sheet-like colonies of uniform ectodermal mat to colonies which produce complex networks of stolons. Colony ontogeny was quantified under uniform environmental conditions for 70 colonies of H.echinata, with data collected on the growth rates of the three major colony parameters: mat tissue, stolon tissue, and polyps. Analysis of the relative growth rates of the tissues clearly illustrates that variability in colony form between colonies can be attributed to continuous variation in just one of the parameters governing colony ontogeny.

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© 1984 Biological Bulletin