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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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Novel object test.Bars show the average time spent investigating a novel object after 20 days of control or CO2 exposure. N = 20 for each treatment. Data are presented as means ± SEM, and the p-value indicates statistical significance (t-test).
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pone-0065825-g005: Novel object test.Bars show the average time spent investigating a novel object after 20 days of control or CO2 exposure. N = 20 for each treatment. Data are presented as means ± SEM, and the p-value indicates statistical significance (t-test).

Mentions: When presented with a novel object control fish showed curiosity and explored the object. The average time spent investigating the object was five times longer for control fish than CO2-exposed fish (p<0.00001) at day 20 (figure 5). On day 40, neither group showed interest in the Rubik's cube, possibly because the fish had examined the object on the previous test occasion (data not shown).


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)

Novel object test.Bars show the average time spent investigating a novel object after 20 days of control or CO2 exposure. N = 20 for each treatment. Data are presented as means ± SEM, and the p-value indicates statistical significance (t-test).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0065825-g005: Novel object test.Bars show the average time spent investigating a novel object after 20 days of control or CO2 exposure. N = 20 for each treatment. Data are presented as means ± SEM, and the p-value indicates statistical significance (t-test).
Mentions: When presented with a novel object control fish showed curiosity and explored the object. The average time spent investigating the object was five times longer for control fish than CO2-exposed fish (p<0.00001) at day 20 (figure 5). On day 40, neither group showed interest in the Rubik's cube, possibly because the fish had examined the object on the previous test occasion (data not shown).

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