Herrán, Natalia, Narayan, Gita R., Doo, Steve ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3346-6152, Klicpera, André, Freiwald, André and Westphal, Hildegard ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7324-6122 (2022) High‐resolution imaging sheds new light on a multi‐tier symbiotic partnership between a “walking” solitary coral, a sipunculan, and a bivalve from East Africa. Ecology and Evolution, 12 (3). DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8633.

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Marine symbioses are integral to the persistence of ecosystem functioning in coral reefs. Solitary corals of the species Heteropsammia cochlea and Heterocyathus aequicostatus have been observed to live in symbiosis with the sipunculan worm Aspidosiphon muelleri muelleri, which inhabits a cavity within the coral, in Zanzibar (Tanzania). The symbiosis of these photosymbiotic corals enables the coral holobiont to move, in fine to coarse unconsolidated substrata, a process termed as “walking.” This allows the coral to escape sediment cover in turbid conditions which is crucial for these light-dependent species. An additional commensalistic symbiosis of this coral-worm holobiont is found between the Aspidosiphon worm and the cryptoendolithic bivalve Jousseaumiella sp., which resides within the cavity of the coral skeleton. To understand the morphological alterations caused by these symbioses, interspecific relationships, with respect to the carbonate structures between these three organisms, are documented using high-resolution imaging techniques (scanning electron microscopy and µCT scanning). Documenting multi-layered symbioses can shed light on how morphological plasticity interacts with environmental conditions to contribute to species persistence.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA4
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Geoecology & Carbonate Sedimentology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8633
ISSN: 2045-7758
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2022 10:23
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 13:25
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/4869

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