Feeding behaviour of a serpulid polychaete : Turning a nuisance species into a natural resource to counter algal blooms?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Jonathan Y.S. Leung
  • Napo K.M. Cheung


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-382
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2017


Occurrence of algal blooms in coastal waters is predicted to be more prevalent in future. To minimize their occurrence, manipulating the grazing pressure by suspension feeders is a potential management strategy, but its effectiveness may depend on their feeding preference. Therefore, we assessed the clearance rate of a widespread serpulid polychaete Hydroides elegans in larval and adult stages on various coastal phytoplankton. Additionally, the growth and development of H. elegans after consuming these phytoplankton were determined to reflect its sustainability to counter algal blooms. Results showed that H. elegans can consume and utilize different phytoplankton, except diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, for growth and development in both life stages. Given the fast-colonizing ability which allows easy manipulation of abundance, H. elegans is considered practically and biologically ideal for tackling algal blooms. Other suspension feeders with different feeding niches could be used in combination to maximize the versatility of the top-down control.

Research Area(s)

  • Algal bloom, Coastal waters, Feeding preference, Serpulid polychaete, Top-down control