Hydroids, one of the dominant components of the zoobenthic communities, share comparable growth patterns with higher plants because of their modular body organization, high potential of asexual reproduction, and phenotypic plasticity. These features, together with the ability to enter dormancy to overcome unfavorable conditions, make hydroids successful organisms adaptable to a wide range of environmental scenarios. Depending on their wide range of shapes and sizes, hydroids form three-dimensional forests at different dimensional scales, establishing both trophic and non-trophic relationships with several other organisms, from virus to vertebrates. Despite numerous researches conducted to study the hydroid ecology, the putative importance of hydroids in structuring zoobenthic communities is underestimated. Here, information available about hydroid ecology is summarized, in order to emphasize the role of hydroids as forest formers, as well as their function in the bentho-pelagic coupling.

Hydroids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): A Neglected Component of Animal Forests

Boero Ferdinando
2017

Abstract

Hydroids, one of the dominant components of the zoobenthic communities, share comparable growth patterns with higher plants because of their modular body organization, high potential of asexual reproduction, and phenotypic plasticity. These features, together with the ability to enter dormancy to overcome unfavorable conditions, make hydroids successful organisms adaptable to a wide range of environmental scenarios. Depending on their wide range of shapes and sizes, hydroids form three-dimensional forests at different dimensional scales, establishing both trophic and non-trophic relationships with several other organisms, from virus to vertebrates. Despite numerous researches conducted to study the hydroid ecology, the putative importance of hydroids in structuring zoobenthic communities is underestimated. Here, information available about hydroid ecology is summarized, in order to emphasize the role of hydroids as forest formers, as well as their function in the bentho-pelagic coupling.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/740431
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