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Marine Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 775–792 | Cite as

A comparative analysis of the photobiology of zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae symbiotic with the temperate clonal anemone Anthopleura elegantissima (Brandt). III. Seasonal effects of natural light and temperature on photosynthesis and respiration

  • E. Alan Verde
  • L. R. McCloskey
Research Article

Abstract

The sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima hosts two phylogenetically different symbiotic microalgae, a dinoflagellate Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae, ZX) and a chlorophyte (zoochlorellae, ZC). The photosynthetic productivity (P), respiration (R), and contribution of algal carbon translocated to the host (CZAR) in response to a year’s seasonal ambient changes of natural light and temperature are documented for both ZX- and ZC-bearing anemones. Light and temperature both affect photosynthesis, respiration, and CZAR, as well as various algal parameters; while there are evident seasonal differences, for the most part the relative effects on P, R, and CZAR by the two environmental variables cannot be determined. Net photosynthesis (Pn) of both ZX and ZC was significantly higher during spring and summer. During these seasons, the Pn of ZX was always greater than that of ZC. Regardless of algal symbiont, anemone respiration (R) was significantly higher during the spring and summer. The annual net carbon fixation rate of anemones with ZX and ZC was 325 and 276 mg C anemone−1 year−1, respectively, which translates to annual net community productivity rates of 92 and 60 g C m−1 year−1 for anemones with ZX or ZC, respectively. CZAR did not show a clear relationship with season; however the CZAR for ZX was always significantly greater than for ZC. Lower ZX growth rates, coupled with higher photosynthetic rates and higher CZAR estimates, compared to ZC, suggest that if A. elegantissima is simply carbon limited, ZX-bearing anemones should be the dominant symbiont in the field. However ZC-bearing anemones persist in low light and reduced temperature microhabitats, therefore more than the translocation of carbon from ZC must be involved. Given that global climate change will increase water temperatures, the potential for latitudinal range shifts of both ZC and ZX (S. californium and muscatinei) might be used as biological indicators of thermal shifts in the littoral zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Keywords

Carotenoid Mitotic Index Intertidal Zone Total Chlorophyll Content Algal Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Houston Underwater Club SeaSpace Scholarship and Sigma Xi Grants-in-aid of Research (to E.A.V.), National Science Foundation grant OCE-8303513 (to L.R.M.), and the Department of Biological Sciences and Marine Station of Walla Walla College. We express our thanks to G. Muller-Parker and the staff of Shannon Point Marine Center for use of equipment, to S. Perez, L. Hauck, and D. Cowles for their pre-submission review of this document, and to three anonymous reviewers whose comments and constructive criticisms helped to improve this paper.

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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corning School of Ocean Studies Maine Maritime AcademyCastineUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyLa Sierra UniversityRiversideUSA

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