Ocean acidification effects on fish hearing

Radford, C.A., Collins, S.P., Munday, P. L., and Parsons, D. (2021) Ocean acidification effects on fish hearing. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288 (1946). 20202754.

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Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through a multitude of effects, including increased greenhouse gas emissions resulting in warmer and acidified oceans. Elevated CO 2 conditions can cause sensory deficits and altered behaviours in marine organisms, either directly by affecting end organ sensitivity or due to likely alterations in brain chemistry. Previous studies show that auditory-associated behaviours of larval and juvenile fishes can be affected by elevated CO 2 (1000 µatm). Here, using auditory evoked potentials (AEP) and micro-computer tomography (microCT) we show that raising juvenile snapper, Chrysophyrs auratus, under predicted future CO 2 conditions resulted in significant changes to their hearing ability. Specifically, snapper raised under elevated CO 2 conditions had a significant decrease in low frequency (less than 200 Hz) hearing sensitivity. MicroCT demonstrated that these elevated CO 2 snapper had sacculus otolith's that were significantly larger and had fluctuating asymmetry, which likely explains the difference in hearing sensitivity. We suggest that elevated CO 2 conditions have a dual effect on hearing, directly effecting the sensitivity of the hearing end organs and altering previously described hearing induced behaviours. This is the first time that predicted future CO 2 conditions have been empirically linked through modification of auditory anatomy to changes in fish hearing ability. Given the widespread and well-documented impact of elevated CO 2 on fish auditory anatomy, predictions of how fish life-history functions dependent on hearing may respond to climate change may need to be reassessed.

Item ID: 70495
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: auditory evoked potentials, CO 2, fluctuating asymmetry, microCT, otoliths
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CECRS)
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2022 03:15
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190504 Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts) @ 50%
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