15 August 2013

Singapore's anemones in study of anemone bleaching

Thanks to Dr Jean-Paul Hobbs, photos of Singapore's sea anemones were included in a study of bleaching in sea anemones that host anemonefishes.
Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) bleaching
Bleaching Giant carpet anemone
(Stichodactyla gigantea) at Pulau Hantu
during the 2010 mass coral bleaching event.
I feel it's important to document happenings on our shores, even if the photos are not pretty. And to share these photos. Together with scientists and experts, hopefully we can find out more about what is going on and how to protect our marine life.


This study focused on an important issue: what happens during mass coral bleaching events to sea anemones? Especially sea anemones which are homes to anemonefishes.
Tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus) with bleaching Bubble-tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor)
Like this Bubble tip sea anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) which is bleaching, together with other hard corals during the 2010 mass coral bleaching event. A Tomato anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus) is hovering nearby, probably because the low tide prevents it from being close to its sea anemone home.

Loh Kok Sheng's photo also used in the paper (photo h).
From the paper: "Although bleaching has been intensively studied in corals, little is known about the causes and consequences of bleaching in other tropical symbiotic organisms. This study used underwater visual surveys to investigate bleaching in the 10 species of anemones that host anemonefishes. There was considerable spatial variation in anemone bleaching during most of these events, suggesting that certain sites and deeper waters might act as refuges. Susceptibility to bleaching varied between species, and in some species, bleaching caused reductions in size and abundance."

Read more in "Taxonomic, Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Bleaching in Anemones Inhabited by Anemonefishes" by Jean-Paul A. Hobbs et. al on PlosOne

And media articles about the paper, on wildsingapore news.

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