Elevated CO2 affects the behavior of an ecologically and economically important coral reef fish

Munday, Philip L., Pratchett, Morgan S., Dixson, Danielle L., Donelson, Jennifer M., Endo, Geoff G.K., Reynolds, Adam D., and Knuckey, Richard (2013) Elevated CO2 affects the behavior of an ecologically and economically important coral reef fish. Marine Biology, 160 (8). pp. 2137-2144.

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Abstract

We tested the effect of near-future CO₂ levels (≈490, 570, 700, and 960 μatm CO2) on the olfactory responses and activity levels of juvenile coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus, a piscivorous reef fish that is also one of the most important fisheries species on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Juvenile coral trout reared for 4 weeks at 570 μatm CO₂ exhibited similar sensory responses and behaviors to juveniles reared at 490 μatm CO₂ (control). In contrast, juveniles reared at 700 and 960 μatm CO₂ exhibited dramatically altered sensory function and behaviors. At these higher CO₂ concentrations, juveniles became attracted to the odor of potential predators, as has been observed in other reef fishes. They were more active, spent less time in shelter, ventured further from shelter, and were bolder than fish reared at 490 or 570 μatm CO₂. These results demonstrate that behavioral impairment of coral trout is unlikely if pCO₂ remains below 600 μatm; however, at higher levels, there are significant impacts on juvenile performance that are likely to affect survival and energy budgets, with consequences for predator–prey interactions and commercial fisheries.

Item ID: 25421
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 00:02
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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