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Tunicate Bed (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 540

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Faunal Bed
Biotic Subclass Soft Sediment Fauna
Biotic Group Tunicate Bed
Biotic Community Ciona Bed
Didemnum Bed

Definition Sandy or muddy areas dominated by members of the subphylum Urochordata, including ascidians, sea squirts, and other tunicates. Tunicates are bag-like organisms that use incurrent and excurrent siphons for filter feeding and respiration. These animals may be resting on the sediment surface, partially embedded in the sediment, or attached to conspecifics. On both East and West coasts of the U.S., and in many other areas worldwide, colonies of the invasive sea squirt Didemnum are rapidly invading and smothering local biotopes.