Elevated carbon dioxide affects behavioural lateralization in a coral reef fish

Domenici, Paolo, Allan, Bridie, McCormick, Mark I., and Munday, Philip L. (2012) Elevated carbon dioxide affects behavioural lateralization in a coral reef fish. Biology Letters, 8 (1). pp. 78-81.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0591
 
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Abstract

Elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) has recently been shown to affect chemosensory and auditory behaviour, and activity levels of larval reef fishes, increasing their risk of predation. However, the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown. Behavioural lateralization is an expression of brain functional asymmetries, and thus provides a unique test of the hypothesis that elevated CO2 affects brain function in larval fishes. We tested the effect of near-future CO2 concentrations (880 μatm) on behavioural lateralization in the reef fish, Neopomacentrus azysron. Individuals exposed to current-day or elevated CO2 were observed in a detour test where they made repeated decisions about turning left or right. No preference for right or left turns was observed at the population level. However, individual control fish turned either left or right with greater frequency than expected by chance. Exposure to elevated-CO2 disrupted individual lateralization, with values that were not different from a random expectation. These results provide compelling evidence that elevated CO2 directly affects brain function in larval fishes. Given that lateralization enhances performance in a number of cognitive tasks and anti-predator behaviours, it is possible that a loss of lateralization could increase the vulnerability of larval fishes to predation in a future high-CO2 ocean.

Item ID: 19613
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-957X
Keywords: ocean acidification; climate change; brain function; lateralization; larval fish; coral reef
Additional Information:

All additional supporting information found at the following link has been combined into a single PDF: rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/8/1/78/suppl/DC1

Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2012 02:04
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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