Emily Madsen

The Effect of Anemones on the
Spatial Distribution of Marine Life

Anemones use specialized stinging
cells called nematocysts in order to avoid predation. The physical
placement of other marine life in relation to each anemone was
analyzed within a given area. Populations of anemones were split into
three groups: the first group consisted of one anemone, the second
group contained more than one anemone, none of which were touching,
and the third group contained multiple anemones that were all in
direct contact with each other. I expected to find a larger
population of algae and plants surrounding the anemone and a small
number of invertebrates. I found that characteristic species of algae
as well as urchins tended to be present within certain ranges of the
anemones, suggesting that some marine life is better suited within a
given distance from the anemone.  

Quadrat Containing Anemone
Quadrat containing anemone.

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