Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reef fish find it's too hot to swim

Date:
November 27, 2013
Source:
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Summary:
A team of researchers has shown that ocean warming may reduce the swimming ability of many fish species, and have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce.

We all know the feeling, it's a hot summer afternoon and you have no appetite and don't want to do anything apart from lay on the couch.

A team of researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University has shown that ocean warming may make some large reef fish feel the same way.

Researcher Dr Jacob Johansen said that fish rely on swimming for almost all activities necessary for survival, including hunting for food and finding mates.

"However, global warming may reduce the swimming ability of many fish species, and have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce," he said.

Dr Johansen said that research aimed at understanding the impact of global warming on the commercially important fish species, coral trout, revealed that increasing ocean temperatures may cause large fish to become lethargic, spending more time resting on the bottom and less time swimming in search for food or reproductive opportunities.

He said that the study he and his colleagues had undertaken showed that even when individuals do muster up enough energy to swim around, they swim at much slower rate. This lower activity is likely to directly impact their ability to catch food, or visit spawning sites.

"The loss of swimming performance and reduced ability to maintain important activities, like moving to a spawning site to reproduce, could have major implications for the future distribution and abundance of these species," Dr Johansen said.

Professor Morgan Pratchett said that the changes to activity patterns and swimming speeds "may directly influence where we will find these species in the future and how many we are able to fish sustainably."

But all is not lost, Dr Johansen said, as there was some evidence that coral trout may be able to adapt to increasing temperatures.

"Populations from the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef were a little better than southern populations at tolerating these conditions," he said.

"Coral trout is one of the most important fisheries in the South-East Pacific. If we want to keep this fishery in the future, it is critical that we understand how global warming may impact the species."

"This will allow us to develop management plans that will help to keep the species, and its fisheries, healthy."

The research team, which comprises Dr Vanessa Messmer, Dr Darren Coker, and Dr Andrew Hoey, along with Professor Pratchett and Dr Johansen, are planning further experiments to clarify the ability of coral trout to adapt to the rapid changes caused by global warming or if they may be forced to relocate to cooler more southerly waters.

Their paper "Increasing ocean temperatures reduce activity patterns of a large commercially important coral reef fish" by J.L. Johansen, V. Messmer, D.J. Coker, A.S. Hoey and M.S. Pratchett is published in the latest issue of the journal Global Change Biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J.L. Johansen, V. Messmer, D.J. Coker, A.S. Hoey and M.S. Pratchett. Increasing ocean temperatures reduce activity patterns of a large commercially important coral reef fish. Global Change Biology, November 2013

Cite This Page:

ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. "Reef fish find it's too hot to swim." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110613.htm>.
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. (2013, November 27). Reef fish find it's too hot to swim. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110613.htm
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies. "Reef fish find it's too hot to swim." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110613.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins