Sessility (limnology)

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In limnology, sessility is that quality of an organism which rests unsupported directly on a base, either attached or unattached to a substrate.[1] It is a characteristic of vegetation which is anchored to the benthic environment. There are two families of sessile rotifers: Flosculariidae and Collothecidae.[2] The circalittoral zone of coastal environments and biomes are dominated by sessile organisms such as oysters. Carbonate platforms grow due to the buildup of skeletal remains of sessile organisms, usually microorganisms, which induce carbonate precipitation through their metabolism.

Sessile organisms such as barnacles and tunicates need some mechanism to move their young into new territory. This is why the most widely accepted theory explaining the evolution of a larval stage is the need for long-distance dispersal ability. Wayne Sousa's 1979 study in intertidal disturbance added support for the theory of nonequilibrium community structure, “suggesting that open space is necessary for the maintenance of diversity in most communities of sessile organisms.”[3]


  1. ^ Eugene B. Welch; T. Lindell (1992). Ecological Effects of Wastewater. Taylor and Francis. p. 378. ISBN 0-412-34940-X. 
  2. ^ James H. Thorp; Alan P. Covich (2001). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Academic Press. p. 213. ISBN 0-12-690647-5. 
  3. ^ WP. Ecology. 1979. Disturbance in Marine Intertidal Boulder Fields: The Nonequilibrium maintenance of species diversity.