How stable are the reef odor preferences of settling reef fish larvae?

Miller-Sims, Vanessa C., Atema, Jelle, Gerlach, Gabriele, and Kingsford, Michael (2011) How stable are the reef odor preferences of settling reef fish larvae? Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, 44 (3). pp. 133-141.

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Settlement-stage larvae of the coral reef fishes Ostorhinchus doederleini (Apogonidae) and Pomacentrus coelestis (Pomacentridae) prefer the odor of their settlement reef to that of other nearby reefs. It was unknown whether these olfactory preferences are temporally stable or the result of recent olfactory experience. Ostorhinchus doederleini and P. coelestis larvae were held in aquaria and exposed to water from either their settlement reef or a neighboring reef for 5–9 days and their olfactory preference was tested. We show that exposure to water from another reef did not influence olfactory preference. Ostorhinchus doederleini olfactory preference declined slightly over time whereas P. coelestis preference was gradually lost after 2–3 days in captivity. Neither species switched their preference to the new reef odor. While we cannot determine conclusively the time window of odor learning, imprinting at or shortly after birth is logical and has been demonstrated in other fish species.

Item ID: 19660
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1029-0362
Keywords: reef-fish; Ostorhinchus doederleini; apogonidae; Pomacentrus coelestis; Pomacentridae; larval behavior; olfaction; dispersal
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2012 04:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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