Shoaling reduces metabolic rate in a gregarious coral reef fish species

Nadler, Lauren E., Killen, Shaun S., McClure, Eva C., Munday, Philip L., and McCormick, Mark I. (2016) Shoaling reduces metabolic rate in a gregarious coral reef fish species. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219 (18). pp. 2802-2805.

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Abstract

Many animals live in groups because of the potential benefits associated with defense and foraging. Group living may also induce a 'calming effect' on individuals, reducing overall metabolic demand. This effect could occur by minimising the need for individual vigilance and reducing stress through social buffering. However, this effect has proved difficult to quantify. We examined the effect of shoaling on metabolism and body condition in the gregarious damselfish Chromis viridis. Using a novel respirometry methodology for social species, we found that the presence of shoal-mate visual and olfactory cues led to a reduction in the minimum metabolic rate of individuals. Fish held in isolation for 1 week also exhibited a reduction in body condition when compared with those held in shoals. These results indicate that social isolation as a result of environmental disturbance could have physiological consequences for gregarious species.

Item ID: 46392
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1477-9145
Keywords: calming effect, metabolism, body condition, respirometry, energetics, Chromis viridis
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

Funders: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), Australian Government Department of Education (DoE), Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation (LIRRF), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Science for Management Awards, James Cook University (JCU) Graduate Research Scheme (GRS), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CECRS)
Projects and Grants: NERC Advanced Fellowship NE/J019100/1
Research Data: http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/28/5745456AD6433
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 07:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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