New Publication: April 2018 (Norin et al)

Nemo needs more energy in bleached anemones
11 April 2018 | Contact: SUZANNE MILLS | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B

Climate warming and increased ocean temperatures are causing tropical corals and sea anemones to bleach, meaning that they lose the symbiotic algae harboured within their tissue and turn white. Bleaching directly affects anemones and corals physiologically, but the damage may also cascade on to other animals living in association with the corals or anemones. At the CRIOBE research station in French Polynesia in collaboration with scientists from the University of Glasgow, we investigated whether anemone bleaching affected the energetic demands of orange-fin anemonefish (also known as clownfish) living among the anemone tentacles. We found that anemonefish living with bleached anemones had higher resting metabolic rates than fish from healthy anemones, meaning that the fish were in need of more energy to simply stay alive. These increased energy demands are likely due to increased stress associated with life in a bleached anemone host and may have negative impacts on the anemonefish’s performance and fitness. These results are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 11 April 2018.

Norin, T., Mills, S.C., Crespel, A., Cortese, D., Killen, S.S. and R. Beldade. 2018. Anemone bleaching increases the metabolic demands of symbiont anemonefish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 11th April 2018, 20180282.

Tommy Norin (UK)
Ricardo Beldade (Moorea, French Polynesia)
Suzanne Mills (Moorea, French Polynesia)

NY Times : Clown Fish Need More Energy to Live in a Bleached Home
SCIMEX : Nemo's cousin stressed out by bleaching