Thermal environment and nutritional condition affect the efficacy of chemical alarm cues produced by prey fish

Lienart, Govinda D.H., Ferrari, Maud C.O., and McCormick, Mark I. (2016) Thermal environment and nutritional condition affect the efficacy of chemical alarm cues produced by prey fish. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 99 (10). pp. 729-739.

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Abstract

A wide variety of prey animals possess damage-released chemical alarm cues that evoke antipredator responses in both conspecifics and some heterospecifics. Several studies have indicated that food availability may influence body condition and in doing so, affect the production of alarm cues. We examined whether food availability (high and low) and temperature (27, 30 and 32 A degrees C) interacted to affect the production of chemical alarm cues by juveniles of a marine tropical prey fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis. Results indicate that poorly-fed fish had depleted energy reserves with rising temperatures compared to well-fed fish. Fish with a poor feeding history also showed depressed growth rate across all temperature treatments. The alarm cues produced by experimental fish triggered stronger antipredator responses as temperature increased up to 30 A degrees C, regardless of the feeding history or body condition of the donor. However, at 32 A degrees C, alarm cues from poorly-fed fish did not elicit as effectively an antipredator response in conspecifics compared to those produced by well-fed fish. The results highlight that warming oceans, in isolation but also in conjunction with changes in food supply, may have a drastic impact on chemically-mediated predator-prey interactions.

Item ID: 46115
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: body condition, chemical alarm cue, coral reef fish, food availability, temperature
ISSN: 1573-5133
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CECRS)
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 07:34
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 100%
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