Herbert, N. A., Bröhl, S., Springer, K. and Kunzmann, A. (2017) Clownfish in hypoxic anemones replenish host O2 at only localised scales. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06695-x.

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The clownfish-anemone association exemplifies a symbiosis where both members benefit from nutrient exchange and protection from predators. Clownfish also perform aeration-like behaviour in their host anemones at night, but it is not yet known whether this is stimulated by the onset of hypoxia, and whether both members benefit from O2 replenishment. Oxygen at 3 distances above the sea anemone Entacmaea quadricolor (0.2, 1.2 and 2.2 cm) therefore was measured under 3 light levels (photon flux density = 0, 55 and 110 µmol m−2 s−1), with and without the anemonefish Amphiprion frenatus. Hypoxia (O2 < 50% air saturation) was recorded in the anemone, but only at 0.2 cm away from the anemone surface under dark conditions when A. frenatus was absent. This localised layer of hypoxia was eliminated by the presence of A. frenatus exhibiting aeration-like behaviour. Respirometry revealed that A. frenatus is extremely hypoxia tolerant (S crit = 14.3% at 25 °C), suggesting that aeration behaviour does not provide a major metabolic advantage to clownfish because they do not breathe water at 0.2 cm and are not metabolically constrained by O2 at distances ≥ 1.2 cm. That the aeration behaviour of A. frenatus facilitates only the metabolism of its O2-conforming host reveals a unique aspect of this symbiotic relationship.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Experimental Aquaculture
Infrastructure > Biology Laboratory
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06695-x
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 14:12
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:58
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/1781

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