Marine Biology

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 199–205

Effects of starvation, and light and dark on the energy metabolism of symbiotic and aposymbiotic sea anemones, Anthopleura elegantissima

  • W. K. Fitt
  • R. L. Pardy

DOI: 10.1007/BF00386660

Cite this article as:
Fitt, W.K. & Pardy, R.L. Mar. Biol. (1981) 61: 199. doi:10.1007/BF00386660


Rates of oxygen and carbon-dioxide exhange were measured in symbiotic and aposymbiotic specimens of the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima while fed and starved under light or dark conditions. Respiratory quotients indicated that fed anemones switched from a carbohydrate to a fat catabolism when starved, with the exception that symbiotic individuals starved in the light showed a pronounced carbohydrate catabolism for over 1 month. The source of the carbohydrate was probably photosynthate translocated by the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium (=Gymnodinium) microadriaticum (Freudenthal) living in the anemones' tissues. The starved symbiotic anemones maintained in the light had lipid levels not significantly different from fed controls and 44 to 61% higher than starved aposymbiotic anemones after 1 month. Thus, the quality and quantity of the metabolic flux from the symbionts to the sea anemone were sufficient to conserve the host's lipid reserves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. K. Fitt
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. L. Pardy
    • 3
  1. 1.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA