Habitat preferences of coral-associated fishes are altered by short-term exposure to elevated CO₂

Devine, Brynn M., and Munday, Philip L. (2013) Habitat preferences of coral-associated fishes are altered by short-term exposure to elevated CO₂. Marine Biology, 160 (8). pp. 1955-1962.

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Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentrations are causing additional CO₂ to be absorbed by the oceans. Recent studies show that exposure to elevated CO₂ causes olfactory impairment in reef fishes; however, the ecological consequences of this impairment are largely unknown. This study examined the effects of short-term exposure to elevated CO₂ on habitat preferences of coral-dwelling gobies. Adult gobies collected from the reef at Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) were exposed for 4 days to ambient CO₂ (440 μatm) or elevated CO₂ (880 μatm). Habitat preferences were then tested in laboratory and field experiments at ambient conditions. In olfactory preference tests, Paragobiodon xanthosomus displayed a strong preference for odour cues of their sole host coral Seriatopora hystrix; however, this preference was absent in gobies exposed to elevated CO₂. Habitat choice experiments conducted in the field showed that Gobiodon histrio placed on dead coral colonies located preferred live habitat within 24 h; however, gobies exposed to elevated CO₂ associated with both preferred and non-preferred habitats in approximately equal frequency. Preferred habitats are known to confer fitness advantages to coral-dwelling gobies. Consequently, these results suggest that future elevated CO₂ levels might affect the ability of habitat specialist fishes to select favourable habitats.

Item ID: 25262
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-1793
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2013 23:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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