Shick 1990 BiolBull

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Shick JM (1990) Diffusion limitation and hyperoxic enhancement of oxygen consumption in symbiotic sea anemones, zoanthids, and corals. Biol Bull 179:148-58.

» Biol. Bull. 179: 148-158.

Shick JM (1990) Biol Bull

Abstract: Depending on their size and morphology, anthozoan polyps and colonies may be diffusion-limited in their oxygen consumption, even under well-stirred, air-saturated conditions. This is indicated by an enhancement of oxygen consumption under steady-state hyperoxic conditions that simulate the levels of 02 produced photosynthetically by zooxanthellae in the hosts' tissues. Such hyperoxia in the tissues of zooxanthellate species negates the effect of the diffusive boundary layer, and increases the rate of oxygen consumption; thus, in many cases, the rate of respiration measured under normoxia in the dark may not be representative of the rate during the day when the zooxanthellae are photosynthesizing and when the supply of oxygen for respiration is in the tissues themselves, not from the environment. These results have implications in respirometric methodology and in calculating the rate of gross photosynthesis in energetic studies. The activity of cytochrome c oxidase is higher in aposymbiotic than in zooxanthellate specimens of the sea anemone Aiptasia pukhella, and this may indicate a compensation for the relative hypoxia in the tissues of the former, enhancing the delivery of oxygen to the mitochondria from the environment.

“. . . [zooxanthellae] certainly provide abundant supplies of oxygen, without which it is just possible that such immense aggregations of living matter which constitute a coral reef. . . could not originate and flourish.”

-CM.. Yonge (1930)

Keywords: Twin-Flow


Labels: MiParea: Respiration, Comparative MiP;environmental MiP 


Organism: Other invertebrates 

Preparation: Intact organism 

Regulation: Ion;substrate transport, Oxygen kinetics 



Twin-Flow