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Appendicularians are common in all the world's oceans. Although these free swimming tunicates are the most primitive chordates, having the smallest chordate genome known, they developed one of the most complex external food concentrating mucous structure and using tangential filtration they feed efficiently on sub-micron and micron sized particles. The nearly 70 known species are adapted to all the oceanic environments including the deep sea and make a significant contribution to what is called marine snow: slowly sedimenting marine particles and thus to the carbon cycling.
Response of Marine Ecosystems to Global Change reviews the latest findings in the fields of phylogenetics, diversity, reproduction, nutritional biology, population dynamics, carbon flux and predator-prey relationships.