Odor tracking in sharks is reduced under future ocean acidification conditions

Dixson, Danielle L., Jennings, Ashley R., Atema, Jelle, and Munday, Philip L. (2015) Odor tracking in sharks is reduced under future ocean acidification conditions. Global Change Biology, 21 (4). pp. 1454-1462.

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Recent studies show that ocean acidification impairs sensory functions and alters the behavior of teleost fishes. If sharks and other elasmobranchs are similarly affected, this could have significant consequences for marine ecosystems globally. Here, we show that projected future CO(2) levels impair odor tracking behavior of the smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). Adult M. canis were held for 5 days in a current-day control (405 ± 26 μatm) and mid (741 ± 22 μatm) or high CO(2) (1064 ± 17 μatm) treatments consistent with the projections for the year 2100 on a 'business as usual' scenario. Both control and mid CO(2)-treated individuals maintained normal odor tracking behavior, whereas high CO(2)-treated sharks significantly avoided the odor cues indicative of food. Control sharks spent >60% of their time in the water stream containing the food stimulus, but this value fell below 15% in high CO(2)-treated sharks. In addition, sharks treated under mid and high CO(2) conditions reduced attack behavior compared to the control individuals. Our findings show that shark feeding could be affected by changes in seawater chemistry projected for the end of this century. Understanding the effects of ocean acidification on critical behaviors, such as prey tracking in large predators, can help determine the potential impacts of future ocean acidification on ecosystem function.

Item ID: 38105
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: behavior; climate change; dogfish; Mustelus canis; ocean acidification; olfaction
Funders: American Australian Association, James Cook University, Australian Research Council (ARC), US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: NSF-IOS-0843440
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 23:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 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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