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Keywords:

  • Bryozoa;
  • feeding currents;
  • spiral growth;
  • senescence;
  • Cheilostomata;
  • Fenestrata

Cilia-generated flow in the absence of ambient current is directed from frontal to reverse sides of branches in Bugula turrita, B. turbinata, B. neritina, and B. stolonifera, whether axes of feeding lophophores are perpendicular to the basal plane of branches or are tilted toward distal ends of branches. Ambient current less than 5 cm per second interacts with cilia-generated flow, but ambient flow of 15 cm per second destroys self-generated colonial flow and severely hampers feeding. Polypides are located in the more distal, younger portions of colonies, in species with and without polypide recycling, whereas zooids in the more proximal, older portions are senesced. Presence of feeding polypides in distal but not in proximal portions of the larger spiralled colonies of B. turrita and B. turbinata results in downward, slightly radially directed flow through the colony. The colonial flow passes directly from one whorl to the next-proximal so that water exits from low around the colony perimeter, and a proximally expanding conical stagnant zone occupies the interior of the colony. A substantial percentage of zooecia in distal whorls of well-preserved Archimedes is filled by sediment and inferred to have been occupied by actively feeding polypides. whereas spar-filled zooecia capped by terminal diaphragms were apparently senesced during the latter part of a colony's existence. The capped zooecia constitute an increasing percentage of the total in more proximal whorls. Generally similar colony form and inferred similarity in distribution of current-generating polypides in spiralled colonies of Bugula and in Archimedes suggest that colony-generated flow in Archimedes was similar to that in Bugula, passing downward and then outward, and only through the distal whorls of the colonies.