Several parameters that influence body size in the sea anemone Actinia equina in rock pools on the Yorkshire coast

Carling, B., Gentle, L.K. ORCID: 0000-0003-4864-5775 and Ray, N.D. ORCID: 0000-0002-5188-4331, 2019. Several parameters that influence body size in the sea anemone Actinia equina in rock pools on the Yorkshire coast. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. ISSN 0025-3154

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Abstract

Despite being classed as an asocial species, aggregations of sea anemones can be common in abundant species. UK populations of the geographically common aggressive intertidal sea anemone Actinia equina, form clustered aggregations notwithstanding a violent nature towards neighbours and relatives. Smaller in body size, and more abundant than those found in warmer climates, little research has been undertaken to discover what factors affect body size. This study investigates whether aggregation, distance to neighbour, submergence at low tide or pH in rock pools affect body size of A. equina in their natural habitat. Populations were investigated at five sites on the Yorkshire coast during August and September 2016. A total of 562 anemones were recorded revealing that solitary anemones were significantly larger than those found in clustered aggregations. In addition, anemones found submerged in rock pools at low tide were significantly larger than those found on emergent rock, and smaller anemones were found in significantly higher pH conditions (8.5+) than larger anemones. Anemones submerged at low tide are constantly able to feed and not subject to harsh conditions such as wind exposure and temperature, hence they can achieve larger sizes. Consequently, the size of the anemones may reflect a trade-off between the benefits of aggregating in exposed environments and the costs of competition for a reduced food resource.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Creators: Carling, B., Gentle, L.K. and Ray, N.D.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 28 March 2019
ISSN: 0025-3154
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1017/S0025315419000171DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 08 Mar 2019 11:15
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2019 03:00
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35946

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