Cristatella mucedo is a suspension feeder. Food particles are captured from feeding currents created by the ciliated tentacular crown (the lophophore) (Riisgård et al. 2009).

Food items are small components of the nannoplankton, especially single cells (< 7µm) with round shapes (Kamiński 1984).

Population biology

Genetic and ecological evidence indicate a metapopulation ecology - populations are ephemeral, separated geographically, and linked by gene flow:

  • local populations exhibit apparent extinction and recolonisation events (Okamura 1997) and large fluctuations in abundance ( Wöss 1994; Vernon et al. 1996)
  • low levels of gene flow link some populations in northwest Europe
  • colony genotypes occasionally misclassify to sites of non-origin (Freeland et al. 2000a,b)
  • Associations

    Cristatella mucedo colonies provide a home for numerous other species, but not all of them are welcome. Find out what happens when leeches, snails and midge larvae move in.