A large predatory reef fish species moderates feeding and activity patterns in response to seasonal and latitudinal temperature variation

Scott, Molly, Heupel, Michelle, Tobin, Andrew, and Pratchett, Morgan (2017) A large predatory reef fish species moderates feeding and activity patterns in response to seasonal and latitudinal temperature variation. Scientific Reports, 7. 12966.

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Climate-driven increases in ocean temperatures are expected to affect the metabolic requirements of marine species substantially. To mitigate the impacts of increasing temperatures in the short-term, it may be necessary for ectothermic organisms to alter their foraging behaviour and activity. Herein, we investigate seasonal variation in foraging behaviour and activity of latitudinally distinct populations of a large coral reef predator, the common coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. P. leopardus exhibited increased foraging frequency in summer versus winter time, irrespective of latitude, however, foraging frequency substantially declined at water temperatures >30 degrees C. Foraging frequency also decreased with body size but there was no interaction with temperature. Activity patterns were directly correlated with water temperature; during summer, the low-latitude population of P. leopardus spent up to 62% of their time inactive, compared with 43% for the high-latitude population. The impact of water temperature on activity patterns was greatest for larger individuals. These results show that P. leopardus moderate their foraging behaviour and activity according to changes in ambient temperatures. It seems likely that increasing ocean temperatures may impose significant constraints on the capacity of large-bodied fishes to obtain sufficient prey resources while simultaneously conserving energy.

Item ID: 51397
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Funders: Australian Museum Research Institute, AIMS@JCU, Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2017 07:35
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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