Wednesday July 20, 2022

Science Daily

Scientists from Newcastle and Boston Universities investigated the relationship between the size of the fish and the size of the anemone by pairing clown anemonefish with anemones of various sizes in a series of lab experiments. They found that that fish on larger anemones grow faster than fish on smaller anemones.

The results offer the first experimental evidence that vertebrate growth plasticity responds to a mutualistic interaction (where both partners benefit) and explain why anemonefish size and anemone size are so closely correlated in the wild.

Publishing their findings in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers argue that by adjusting their growth, anemonefish likely maximize their reproductive value given their anemone context.

The team rule out food availability and space availability by itself as possible mechanisms. One possible explanation is that space availability together with a biological cue from the mutualistic host are responsible for the pattern. The precise mechanism behind the phenomenon will be the topic of future investigations.

Read more >

Link copied successfully