Sea Anemone Seminar
The Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Research Seminar Series continues on Thursday, May 19, 3:30 p.m., with a seminar on sea anemones. These talks are now delivered in hybrid fashion. The events can be attended in person in the auditorium of the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building at the HMSC (2030 S.E. Marine Science Dr), or can be viewed online.
Speaker Sam Bedgood, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University, will address “Finding a place for sea anemones and their algal symbionts in the rocky intertidal food web: trophic and non-trophic interactions.”
His description of the seminar’s subject:
“Sea anemones in the genus Anthopleura are bright and conspicuous members of tidal pools and other rocky intertidal habitat along the west coast of North America, but their role in marine communities has been previously understudied. These sea anemones are voracious predators that consume animals from several trophic levels, but they can also host unicellular algal symbionts that provide dietary carbon from photosynthesis. This makes their impact on communities difficult to study. Building on the work of others, we asked the question: how are invertebrate communities shaped by symbiotic Anthopleura sea anemones? Contrary to previously accepted beliefs, we found anemones can be picky with their food choice, even rejecting prey after ingestion. Some invertebrates are susceptible to predation, while others are safe. For those that are safe, sea anemones may facilitate survival during low tides by providing microhabitat that ameliorates abiotic stressors such as temperature fluctuations and desiccation. This microhabitat is a direct product of adaptation by the anemone to maintain a stable symbiosis with its algae. We observed higher biodiversity and biomass when anemones were present, regardless of underlying habitat. These newly discovered trophic and non-trophic interactions provide a better understanding of how complex symbioses can affect our classical understanding of ecological communities.”
For those attending in person, there will be a cookie and coffee social in the Valley MSB atrium at 3 p.m. Bring your own mug.
To attend online, go to https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/94555731151. Password: 972587.