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Behavioural disturbances in a temperate fish exposed to sustained high-CO2 levels.

Jutfelt F, Bresolin de Souza K, Vuylsteke A, Sturve J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Here we show several severe behavioural disturbances, including effects on boldness, exploratory behaviour, lateralisation, and learning in a temperate fish, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).We observed the effects on adult sticklebacks, a species known to be tolerant to other environmental stressors.The severity of disturbances and the possibility of a serious behavioural problem for fish across the globe is cause for concern.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. fredrik.jutfelt@bioenv.gu.se

ABSTRACT
As atmospheric CO2 levels rise, the CO2 concentration in ocean surface waters increases through a process commonly referred to as ocean acidification. Recently, surprising behavioural modifications has been detected in the early life stages of tropical coral reef fish exposed to ocean acidification-relevant CO2 concentrations, but it has been unclear if this effect could occur in temperate waters. Here we show several severe behavioural disturbances, including effects on boldness, exploratory behaviour, lateralisation, and learning in a temperate fish, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The behavioural effects were consistent throughout the exposure period and increased in effect size with exposure time. We observed the effects on adult sticklebacks, a species known to be tolerant to other environmental stressors. Our findings suggest that behavioural abnormalities that stem from CO2 exposure are not restricted to sensitive tropical species or early life stages and may therefore affect fish on a global scale. The severity of disturbances and the possibility of a serious behavioural problem for fish across the globe is cause for concern.

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Relative lateralisation index of fish exposed to control water or CO2-enriched water for 20 and 40 days.The histograms show the frequency of fish with each side preference from −100 to 100, where −100 indicates that all turns were to the left, 0 indicates that half of the turns were to the left and half were to the right, and 100 indicates that all turns were to the right. N = 20–25. See figure 4 for statistical analysis.
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pone-0065825-g003: Relative lateralisation index of fish exposed to control water or CO2-enriched water for 20 and 40 days.The histograms show the frequency of fish with each side preference from −100 to 100, where −100 indicates that all turns were to the left, 0 indicates that half of the turns were to the left and half were to the right, and 100 indicates that all turns were to the right. N = 20–25. See figure 4 for statistical analysis.

Mentions: The control fish showed a wide spread of turning preferences, shown as relative lateralization index, while the CO2-exposed fish had a reduced distribution (figure 3). This difference is shown as absolute lateralization index (Figure 4) where the average turning preference is reduced by CO2-exposure. At day 20 the difference is a factor of 2 (p = 0.006), while at day 40 the effect size is larger with a factor of 3.6 (p<0.00001).


Behavioural disturbances in a temperate fish exposed to sustained high-CO2 levels.

Jutfelt F, Bresolin de Souza K, Vuylsteke A, Sturve J - PLoS ONE (2013)

Relative lateralisation index of fish exposed to control water or CO2-enriched water for 20 and 40 days.The histograms show the frequency of fish with each side preference from −100 to 100, where −100 indicates that all turns were to the left, 0 indicates that half of the turns were to the left and half were to the right, and 100 indicates that all turns were to the right. N = 20–25. See figure 4 for statistical analysis.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672104&req=5

pone-0065825-g003: Relative lateralisation index of fish exposed to control water or CO2-enriched water for 20 and 40 days.The histograms show the frequency of fish with each side preference from −100 to 100, where −100 indicates that all turns were to the left, 0 indicates that half of the turns were to the left and half were to the right, and 100 indicates that all turns were to the right. N = 20–25. See figure 4 for statistical analysis.
Mentions: The control fish showed a wide spread of turning preferences, shown as relative lateralization index, while the CO2-exposed fish had a reduced distribution (figure 3). This difference is shown as absolute lateralization index (Figure 4) where the average turning preference is reduced by CO2-exposure. At day 20 the difference is a factor of 2 (p = 0.006), while at day 40 the effect size is larger with a factor of 3.6 (p<0.00001).

Bottom Line: Here we show several severe behavioural disturbances, including effects on boldness, exploratory behaviour, lateralisation, and learning in a temperate fish, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).We observed the effects on adult sticklebacks, a species known to be tolerant to other environmental stressors.The severity of disturbances and the possibility of a serious behavioural problem for fish across the globe is cause for concern.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. fredrik.jutfelt@bioenv.gu.se

ABSTRACT
As atmospheric CO2 levels rise, the CO2 concentration in ocean surface waters increases through a process commonly referred to as ocean acidification. Recently, surprising behavioural modifications has been detected in the early life stages of tropical coral reef fish exposed to ocean acidification-relevant CO2 concentrations, but it has been unclear if this effect could occur in temperate waters. Here we show several severe behavioural disturbances, including effects on boldness, exploratory behaviour, lateralisation, and learning in a temperate fish, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The behavioural effects were consistent throughout the exposure period and increased in effect size with exposure time. We observed the effects on adult sticklebacks, a species known to be tolerant to other environmental stressors. Our findings suggest that behavioural abnormalities that stem from CO2 exposure are not restricted to sensitive tropical species or early life stages and may therefore affect fish on a global scale. The severity of disturbances and the possibility of a serious behavioural problem for fish across the globe is cause for concern.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus