Different responses of coral and rubble-dwelling coral reef damselfishes (Family: Pomacentridae) to chemosensory cues from coral reef microhabitats

Coppock, Amy G., González-Murcia, Saúl O., Srinivasan, Maya, Gardiner, Naomi M., and Jones, Geoffrey P. (2020) Different responses of coral and rubble-dwelling coral reef damselfishes (Family: Pomacentridae) to chemosensory cues from coral reef microhabitats. Marine Biology, 167. 74.

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Coral reef fishes are known to respond to chemical cues in the selection of appropriate microhabitats at settlement. Coral- and non-coral-associated species are likely to respond to different stimuli and the cues may change as larvae settle and become familiar with the reef environment. Here, the chemosensory responses of both late-stage larvae and newly settled juvenile damselfishes to microhabitat odours were tested in Kimbe Bay (PNG), including four obligate coral-dwelling species (Dascyllus melanurus, D. reticulatus, Chrysiptera arnazae and Pomacentrus moluccensis) and four rubble-dwelling species (Pomacentrus adelus, P. simsiang, Chrysiptera cyanea and C. rollandi). Damselfishes were subjected to a series of pair-wise chemosensory choice trials using a two-channel choice flume. The responses by late-stage larvae (pre-settled) to chemical cues from their preferred microhabitat type mirrored those exhibited by recently settled juveniles. All four rubble-dwelling damselfish species exhibited a significant aversion toward chemical cues derived from coral microhabitats, preferring to remain either in the water seeded with chemical cues derived from rubble, or the unseeded (control) water. The obligate coral-dwelling damselfish species tended to avoid rubble and select coral cues when tested against seawater, but unexpectedly, exhibited a neutral response when given a choice between coral and rubble odours. These results indicate that coral and rubble-dwelling damselfish differ in the strength of their attraction to preferred or avoidance of non-preferred microhabitats. Both factors are likely to play a role in settlement choices. Our results indicated that for some species, newly settled juveniles could act as suitable substitutes for testing larval behavioural traits.

Item ID: 63385
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Copyright Information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CE)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 07:32
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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