Effects of temperature on growth rate and body size in the Mediterranean Sea anemone Actinia equina

O. Chomsky, Y. Kamenir, M. Hyams, Z. Dubinsky, N. E. Chadwick-Furman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Actinia equina is the most common sea anemone in the rocky intertidal zone of the Mediterranean coast of Israel, yet little is known about its biology in this habitat. We examined variation in polyp growth at several temperatures within the local range. Under laboratory conditions, only polyps at low temperatures (15 and 20°C) grew, whereas those at higher temperatures (25 and 30°C) lost body mass. Seasonal monitoring of pedal disk diameter over 18 months at field sites showed that polyps shrank significantly during the summer when temperatures were high. We conclude that at summer seawater temperatures along the coast of Israel (28.7-29.5°C), polyps of A. equina are unable to balance their metabolic requirements with energy input, resulting in a seasonal reduction in biomass. Polyps appear able to acclimate to high temperatures, but not sufficiently to avoid shrinkage of tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree in Life Sciences at Bar Ilan University, awarded to O. Chomsky. Funding was provided by a research grant from Bar Ilan University to N.E. Chadwick-Furman. [SS]


  • Acclimation
  • Actiniaria
  • Distribution
  • Geographical limits
  • Metabolism
  • Population size structure
  • Respiration


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