Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change could stop fish finding their friends

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Like humans, fish prefer to group with individuals with whom they are familiar, rather than strangers. This gives numerous benefits including higher growth and survival rates, greater defense against predators and faster social learning. However, high carbon dioxide levels, such as those anticipated by climate change models, may hinder the ability of fish to recognize one another and form groups with familiar individuals.

This image shows tropical damselfish (Chromis viridis) schooling in a coral reef.
Credit: Miss Lauren Nadler

Like humans, fish prefer to group with individuals with whom they are familiar, rather than strangers. This gives numerous benefits including higher growth and survival rates, greater defence against predators and faster social learning. However, high carbon dioxide levels, such as those anticipated by climate change models, may hinder the ability of fish to recognize one another and form groups with familiar individuals.

Scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia, have been studying the effect of carbon dioxide on the schooling behaviour of the tropical damselfish Chromis viridis. Lead investigator Miss Lauren Nadler found that juvenile fish normally require three weeks to recognize their school-mates, however elevated carbon dioxide levels significantly impaired this ability.

Climate change models predict that carbon dioxide levels and ocean acidity will more than double before the end of the century. To investigate if this would affect social recognition in fish, schools were kept under elevated levels of carbon dioxide, similar to those projected for 2100 by models produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Individual fish were then given a "choice test" where they were placed between two schools -- one of familiar fish and the other made up of strangers. Whilst fish kept under normal conditions consistently chose the familiar school, fish reared under high CO2 conditions showed no preference for either the unfamiliar or familiar school.

It is thought that carbon dioxide interferes with the functioning of neuroreceptors in the fish brains. Higher carbon dioxide levels change the concentration of ions (electrically charged atoms and molecules) in the fishes' blood, altering the way that the neuroreceptors work. This impairs basic senses, such as sight and smell, which are vital for recognition in fish.

These results could have serious implications for tropical fish, whose habitat is already threatened by climate change. "Familiarity is an important trait for defence, particularly in a predator-rich environment like a coral reef," says Miss Nadler. "Since half of all fish species in the world school at some point during their lives, including economically important species, these effects could be critical for species that rely on group-living to avoid predators."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Climate change could stop fish finding their friends." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193411.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2014, June 30). Climate change could stop fish finding their friends. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193411.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Climate change could stop fish finding their friends." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193411.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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