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The effects of symbiotic state on heterotrophic feeding in the temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima
Hiebert, T.C.; Bingham, B.L. (2012). The effects of symbiotic state on heterotrophic feeding in the temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 159(5): 939-950. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1871-8
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hiebert, T.C.
  • Bingham, B.L.

Abstract
    The temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima is facultatively symbiotic with unicellular algae. Symbiotic A. elegantissima can supplement heterotrophic feeding with excess photosynthate from their algal partners, while asymbiotic individuals must rely solely on heterotrophy. A. elegantissima individuals were collected from Swirl Rocks, Washington (48°25'6? N, 122°50'58? W) in July 2010, and prey capture and feeding characteristics were measured to determine whether asymbiotic individuals are more efficient predators. Feeding abilities were then measured again after a 3-week exposure to full sunlight or shaded conditions. Freshly collected asymbiotic anemones had larger nematocysts, but symbiotic individuals showed greater nematocyte sensitivity. Sunlight enhanced digestion and reduced cnida density in all anemones regardless of symbiotic state. Results suggest that the phototropic potential of A. elegantissima, as influenced by symbiotic condition, has little effect on heterotrophic capacity. The anemones appear to maximize heterotrophic energy input independent of the presence or identity of their algal symbionts.

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