the cnidarians, there are other colony building groups of specie such as
sea-mats, sea squirts and fungi. Other groups of animals that are important
on hard bottoms are molluscs, segmented worms, nematodes, arthropods, brachiopods
and echinoderms - but with these individuals are almost always solitary.
Many of these specie can reproduce asexually and build clones, but do not
cooperate in large coherent colonies.|
Building colonies that consist of modules results in creatures
that can grow larger without the need for the modules or organs to increase
in size. This allows for a greater flexibility in construction, the ability
to adjust their form after local conditions like the form of the substrate
or after other organisms that they come in contact with.
Unite or kill
colonies there is usually some form of coordintion and a certain amount
of work distribution between the different modules, but independence between
them is usually greater than with solitary organisms. An injury does not
necessarily have to be fatal for the colony. Colonies have a reasonable
ability to survive without the injured parts and rebuild them. Many colonies
can be rebuilt from small fragments or even single cells. Certain modules
go through a process of breaking down and rejuvenation where older and worn
out modules are replaced by newer and fresher.
13 of 52
and rocks are fantastic!
and flecked occurrence
that are attached
in water level
cliffs and rocks
climate and history
effect on each other
and the flow of material
© Aquascope 2000 Tjärnö Marine Biological
Laboratory, Strömstad, Sweden
Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson