Exposure of clownfish larvae to suspended sediment levels found on the Great Barrier Reef: impacts on gill structure and microbiome

Hess, Sybille, Wenger, Amelia S., Ainsworth, Tracy D., and Rummer, Jodie L. (2015) Exposure of clownfish larvae to suspended sediment levels found on the Great Barrier Reef: impacts on gill structure and microbiome. Scientific Reports, 5. 10561. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

Worldwide, increasing coastal development has played a major role in shaping coral reef species assemblages, but the mechanisms underpinning distribution patterns remain poorly understood. Recent research demonstrated delayed development in larval fishes exposed to suspended sediment, highlighting the need to further understand the interaction between suspended sediment as a stressor and energetically costly activities such as growth and development that are essential to support biological fitness. We examined the gill morphology and the gill microbiome in clownfish larvae (Amphiprion percula) exposed to suspended sediment concentrations (using Australian bentonite) commonly found on the inshore Great Barrier Reef. The gills of larvae exposed to 45 mg L−1 of suspended sediment had excessive mucous discharge and growth of protective cell layers, resulting in a 56% thicker gill epithelium compared to fish from the control group. Further, we found a shift from 'healthy' to pathogenic bacterial communities on the gills, which could increase the disease susceptibility of larvae. The impact of suspended sediments on larval gills may represent an underlying mechanism behind the distribution patterns of fish assemblages. Our findings underscore the necessity for future coastal development to consider adverse effects of suspended sediments on fish recruitment, and consequently fish populations and ecosystem health.

Item ID: 39564
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Keywords: respiration, ecophysiology, microbial ecology
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.

Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2015 03:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060504 Microbial Ecology @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 50%
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