Biology and ecological functioning

This section deals with two major aspects of each biogenic reef forming species in turn:

Biology, which concentrates on:

  • reproduction, development and growth, including recruitment processes (but omitting detailed descriptions of reproductive processes and larval development);
  • longevity and stability (where individuals and reefs are considered separately if possible, and where seasonal variations are included if appropriate);
  • feeding biology; (the details of feeding mechanisms, such as tentacular structure, ciliary mechanisms etc, where known, are not described here as they are not felt to be sufficiently relevant, though appropriate references may be given);
  • parasites and diseases.

Ecological functioning, which discusses:

  • the habitat created by biogenic reefs, including information on the range of species associated with them; (the diversity of habitats which is often created by biogenic reefs, and the resulting increase in richness and / or diversity of the community, are among the most important reasons for which they are identified in general terms as being of conservation interest);
  • any wider effects on the environment;
  • the importance of known predators;
  • competitive interactions with other species.

Sabellaria alveolata

Sabellaria spinulosa

Modiolus modiolus

Mytilus edulis

Serpula vermicularis