Why are Noctiluca flourescent?

Charles Galt galt at csulb.edu
Tue Sep 27 00:17:58 EST 1994

: All ecological/ evolutional explainations will also be 
: apreaciated

Well, no experimental evidence for adaptive funtion of flashing in 
Noctiluca (and some species or populations don't even do it), but for 
some other luminescent dinos there is good experimental evidence 
supporting the grazer-deterrent hypothesis (Esaias and Curl, i think 
1972, and White maybe 1978 or 79, I can find actual refs if interested): 
Copepods (small, but with vision) grazed at substantially lower rates on 
luminescent populations of dinos than on non-luminescent (dark phase) 
populations of same species. Recent work by the likes of Busky and others 
is clarifying the mechanism behind this.

Glow in good health...


| Charles Galt, Professor                          Tel:        310-985-4808 |
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