Chemical alarm cues are conserved within the coral reef fish family Pomacentridae

Mitchell, Matthew D., Cowman, Peter F., and McCormick, Mark I. (2012) Chemical alarm cues are conserved within the coral reef fish family Pomacentridae. PLoS ONE, 7 (10). pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Fishes are known to use chemical alarm cues from both conspecifics and heterospecifics to assess local predation risks and enhance predator detection. Yet it is unknown how recognition of heterospecific cues arises for coral reef fishes. Here, we test if naïve juvenile fish have an innate recognition of heterospecific alarm cues. We also examine if there is a relationship between the intensity of the antipredator response to these cues and the degree to which species are related to each other. Naïve juvenile anemone fish, Amphiprion percula, were tested to see if they displayed antipredator responses to chemical alarm cues from four closely related heterospecific species (family Pomacentridae), a distantly related sympatric species (Asterropteryx semipunctatus) and a saltwater (control). Juveniles displayed significant reductions in foraging rate when exposed to all four confamilial heterospecific species but they did not respond to the distantly related sympatric species or the saltwater control. There was also a strong relationship between the intensity of the antipredator response and the extent to which species were related, with responses weakening as species became more distantly related. These findings demonstrate that chemical alarm cues are conserved within the pomacentrid family, providing juveniles with an innate recognition of heterospecific alarm cues as predicted by the phylogenetic relatedness hypothesis.

Item ID: 24576
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 03:00
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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