Considering the dominant role of the phytoplankton in the primary production in the sea, it is understandable that filter feeding - or suspension feeding - is of widespread occurrence and filter feeders are found in almost all animal classes represented in the sea.

Filter-feeding animals are necessary links between the suspended phytoplankton and higher trophic levels in the marine food chains. A large number of filter-feeding animals like bivalves, polychaetes, ascidians, bryozoans, and sponges graze on the phytoplankton in near-bottom water, and particular in shallow coastal waters and fjords they may exert a pronounced grazing impact which may keep the water clear (but not clean) in eutrophicated areas.


My research deals with a number of related topics: bioenergetics and energy budgets, functional response, filter-pumps and energetic cost of filter-feeding, adaptation to environment, water pumping and particle retention efficiency, particle capture mechanisms, switching between deposit and filter-feeding, grazing impact of benthic filter-feeders, and predation impact of jellyfish. Further, plankton dynamics and environmental assessment, mussels as pollution indicators and the importance of filter-feeding bivalves for the uptake of pollutants in the marine grazing food chain form part of my research profile.


Tentacle crown in a filter-feeding worm (Euchone papillosa) living at 75 m depth in the Gulmarsfjord on the Swedish westcoast.


Key words: filter-feeding in marine invertebrates; bioenergetics (food-uptake, assimilation, respiration, energy budgets, growth, costs of growth, growth efficiency); biological filter-pumps; biomixing; fluid mechanics; population grazing impact; particle capture mechanisms; benthic-pelagic coupling; biological structure and nutrient dynamics; grazing impact of benthic filter feeders; implications of density driven currents for interaction between jellyfish and zooplankton.


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