Putting prey and predator into the CO2 equation – qualitative and quantitative effects of ocean acidification on predator–prey interactions

Ferrari, Maude C.O., McCormick, Mark I., Munday, Philip L., Meekan, Mark G., Dixson, Danielle L., Lonnstedt, Öona, and Chivers, Douglas P. (2011) Putting prey and predator into the CO2 equation – qualitative and quantitative effects of ocean acidification on predator–prey interactions. Ecology Letters, 14 (11). pp. 1143-1148.

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Little is known about the impact of ocean acidification on predator–prey dynamics. Herein, we examined the effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) on both prey and predator by letting one predatory reef fish interact for 24 h with eight small or large juvenile damselfishes from four congeneric species. Both prey and predator were exposed to control or elevated levels of CO2. Mortality rate and predator selectivity were compared across CO2 treatments, prey size and species. Small juveniles of all species sustained greater mortality at high CO2 levels, while large recruits were not affected. For large prey, the pattern of prey selectivity by predators was reversed under elevated CO2. Our results demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative consumptive effects of CO2 on small and larger damselfish recruits respectively, resulting from CO2-induced behavioural changes likely mediated by impaired neurological function. This study highlights the complexity of predicting the effects of climate change on coral reef ecosystems.

Item ID: 19614
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: carbon dioxide, coral reef fishes, mesocosm experiment, mortality rate, ocean acidification, predator–prey interaction, selectivity
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All additional supporting information found at the following link has been combined into a single PDF: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01683.x/suppinfo

Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2012 01:50
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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