Like coral reefs, sea anemones—with their flashy, tentacle-like polyps that waggle and wave in vibrant reds, greens, pinks, and yellows—provide homes and hiding spots for dozens of fish species, most memorably the orange clownfish made famous in Finding Nemo. Also like coral, rising water temperatures associated with climate change can severely weaken these anemones, causing them to expel the tiny symbionts that keep them alive and lend them color, a process known as bleaching.
That, it turns out, is just where trouble starts.
When anemones bleach, Nemo and pals get stressed out and simply stop laying eggs, according to new research published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. And scientists suspect that pattern may hold for untold