Effect of oxygen on coral fanning by mutualistic fish

Igal Berenshtein, Yaela Reuben, Amatzia Genin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coral branches partially block the flow of water through the colony, creating an inner zone of reduced water exchange where hypoxic conditions can develop during the night. Previous studies have shown that this oxygen deficiency is alleviated by the fanning behavior of mutualistic damselfish that spend the night between the coral branches, constantly moving their fins. Our findings show that fin-stroking frequency during fanning by the damselfish Dascyllus marginatus is moderately plastic, with lower frequency under higher oxygen concentration, and vice versa. The inter-play between oxygen concentration and fin motion maintains nearly steady oxygen concentration between the coral branches during the night.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1175
Number of pages5
JournalMarine Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


  • Branching corals
  • Damselfish
  • Fanning
  • Fin stroke frequency
  • Mutualism
  • Oxygen concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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