Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

on gorgonians
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Biology

The sea-fan anemone reproduces asexually by shedding parts of its base behind it as it moves along. These fragments develop into tiny anemones (2), which are often closely packed together (3). This mode of reproduction means that this species has rather limited powers of dispersal. However, sexual reproduction probably does occur, and the wide distribution of this species suggests that there must be some form of dispersal as yet undetected (2). The lifespan is between 20 and 100 years (2).
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Description

This small anemone is pink, orange, red or buff-coloured with streaks of white (2), and has up to around 80 irregularly arranged small tentacles (2). The scientific name of this group of sea anemones Amphianthus refers to their flower-like appearance; amphi means 'near' and anthus is from the Greek for flower, 'anthos' (4). It usually occurs attached to sea fans, hence the common name (2).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 A small species of anemone rarely exceeding 10 mm across the disk, exceptionally up to 25 mm along the axis of the base. The colour is pink, buff, orange or red with streaks or splashes of opaque white.
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Description

A small sea anemone, up to 15mm across base, adapted to living on rod-shaped substrates around which it wraps its base. Column not divided into regions, without tubercles. Tentacles moderate in length, about 50 in number. General colour cream, buff, pink, orange, or red, usually variegated or mottled: disc often with a poorly defined pattern and usually streaked with opaque white. Reproduces by basal laceration.
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Distribution

Range

In Great Britain, this species is most often recorded off Plymouth. It has also been found off the west coast of Scotland, in Cornwall, and around Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, and occurs around the south and southwest coasts of Ireland (2). In the rest of the world, it occurs along the Atlantic coast of France, reaching into the western Mediterranean (2). Throughout this range, the sea-fan anemone appears to be rare (3).
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English Channel, southwest Ireland, around western Europe and in the Mediterranean. Formerly common on Eunicella in the Plymouth area this species appears to have become rare in recent years. White individuals have been found on stems of hydroids such as Nemertesia and on the sea fan Swiftia pallida in western Scotland. Further information on distribution and recent occurrence is very desirable.
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Ecology

Habitat

shelf to slope
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Depth range based on 8 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 5 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 20 - 55
  Temperature range (°C): 15.419 - 18.117
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.267 - 0.441
  Salinity (PPS): 38.534 - 38.605
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.358 - 5.576
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.088 - 0.128
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.450 - 1.633

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 20 - 55

Temperature range (°C): 15.419 - 18.117

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.267 - 0.441

Salinity (PPS): 38.534 - 38.605

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.358 - 5.576

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.088 - 0.128

Silicate (umol/l): 1.450 - 1.633
 
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 It occurs attached to the branches of sea fans (Eunicella verrucosa and Swiftia pallida) and on other 'tubular' organisms such as Tubularia indivisa. Always sublittoral, sometimes in very deep water.
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Attaches to sea fans such as the pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa) in England, the northern sea fan (Swiftia pallida) in Scotland, and similar organisms, and occurs in the 'sublittoral zone', inhabiting fairly deep water (2).
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Lives on rod-shaped organic substrates, particularly sea-fans, also hydroid stems; in British waters usually on Eunicella verrucosa. Exclusively sublittoral, usually below 15m depth.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Status

Not listed or protected by any conservation directives, conventions or legislation (3).
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Threats

Although this species has never been particularly common, it has nevertheless undergone a decline (3). A number of causes of this decline have been proposed, including changes in water masses; since the 1970s water masses have become colder, which has caused problems for species at the northernmost limit of their distribution (3). Furthermore, contamination of the water resulting from various human activities may affect larval and adult survival (3).
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Management

Conservation

The sea-fan anemone is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species, and as such, a Species Action Plan has been produced to guide its conservation (3). Although there is no conservation action currently targeted at this species, the main host in the British Isles, the rare pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa), is afforded full legal protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and is therefore protected against killing, taking, injuring, and sale (3). The conservation of these two delicate and sensitive species is closely tied.
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Wikipedia

Amphianthus dohrnii

Amphianthus dohrnii, the sea fan anemone, is a species of sea anemone in the family Hormathiidae. It occurs in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea and grows on sea fans.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Amphianthus dohrnii is native to the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is scarce on the west coast of Scotland but more plentiful in southwestern Britain and in the western and southern parts of Ireland. It is present on the west coast of France and the westernmost parts of the Mediterranean at depths down to about 1,000 m (3,281 ft). It tolerates both strong and weak currents and both plenty of, and little, wave action.[2] It seems to grow exclusively on the stems of gorgonian corals, primarily the northern sea fan (Swiftia pallida) in the north of its range, and the pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa) in the south.[3]

Description[edit]

Amphianthus dohrnii is a small species, seldom exceeding 1 cm (0.4 in) in diameter, though the base, where it adheres to the substrate, may be up to 25 mm (1.0 in) long. It has about eighty short, tapering tentacles and is red, orange, pinkish or buff, with irregular translucent white markings.[4][5]

Biology[edit]

Reproduction is mostly by basal laceration, a form of asexual reproduction. The sea anemone crawls along a hard surface and pieces of tissue become detached and grow into new individuals. However, it is likely that sexual reproduction sometimes takes place, as otherwise this species would be unlikely to be so widely dispersed.[5] Amphianthus dohrnii was at one time common in both the Mediterranean and the English Channel, but it seems now to be absent from the former and increasingly rare in the latter.[6] In British waters, the sea fan Eunicella verrucosa has declined, possibly being damaged by dredging or in association with higher sea temperatures, and the already rare Amphianthus dohrnii has become scarcer.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fautin, Daphne (2014). "Amphianthus dohrnii (Koch, 1878)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Angus (2009). "Sea fan anemone - Amphianthus dohrnii - Habitat preferences and distribution". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  3. ^ Wilding, Catherine; Wilson, Emily (2009). "Northern sea fan - Swiftia pallida - General biology". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  4. ^ Jackson, Angus (2009). "Sea fan anemone - Amphianthus dohrnii - General biology". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Sea-fan anemone Amphianthus dohrnii". ARKive. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  6. ^ Sue Wells; IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre; International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Species Survival Commission (1983). The IUCN invertebrate red data book. IUCN. p. 23. 
  7. ^ Hiscock, Keith; Southward, Alan; Tittley, Ian; Hawkins, Stephen (2004). "Effects of changing temperature on benthic marine life in Britain and Ireland". Aquatic conservation 14 (4): 333–362. doi:10.1002/aqc.628. 
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