sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Rising carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour

Rising carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour

'Clown fish pair - Photo courtesy of Dr Simon Foale'    ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©    Click Here to view large photo

An international scientific team has found that rising human carbon dioxide emissions may be affecting the brains and central nervous system of sea fishes with serious consequences for their survival.

Carbon dioxide concentrations predicted to occur in the ocean by the end of this century will interfere with fishes’ ability to hear, smell, turn and evade predators, says Professor Philip Munday of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.

'For several years our team have been testing the performance of baby coral fishes in sea water containing higher levels of dissolved CO2 – and it is now pretty clear that they sustain significant disruption to their central nervous system, which is likely to impair their chances of survival,' Prof. Munday says.

In their latest paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, Prof. Munday and colleagues report world-first evidence that high CO2 levels in sea water disrupts a key brain receptor in fish, causing marked changes in their behaviour and sensory ability.

'We’ve found that elevated CO2 in the oceans can directly interfere with fish neurotransmitter functions, which poses a direct and previously unknown threat to sea life,' Prof. Munday says.

Clown fish pair - Photo courtesy of Dr Simon Foale -  ARC Centre of?nid=93554 Excellence Coral Reef Studies ©   Click Here to view large photo

Prof. Munday and his colleagues began by studying how baby clown and damsel fishes performed alongside their predators in CO2-enriched water. They found that, while the predators were somewhat affected, the baby fish suffered much higher rates of attrition.

'Our early work showed that the sense of smell of baby fish was harmed by higher CO2 in the water – meaning they found it harder to locate a reef to settle on or detect the warning smell of a predator fish. But we suspected there was much more to it than the loss of ability to smell.'

The team then examined whether fishes’ sense of hearing – used to locate and home in on reefs at night, and avoid them during the day – was affected. 'The answer is, yes it was. They were confused and no longer avoided reef sounds during the day. Being attracted to reefs during daylight would make them easy meat for predators.'

Other work showed the fish also tended to lose their natural instinct to turn left or right – an important factor in schooling behaviour which also makes them more vulnerable, as lone fish are easily eaten by predators.

'All this led us to suspect it wasn’t simply damage to their individual senses that was going on – but rather, that higher levels of carbon dioxide were affecting their whole central nervous system.'

The team’s latest research shows that high CO2 directly stimulates a receptor in the fish brain called GABA-A, leading to a reversal in its normal function and over-excitement of certain nerve signals.

While most animals with brains have GABA-A receptors, the team considers the effects of elevated CO2 are likely to be most felt by those living in water, as they have lower blood CO2 levels normally. The main impact is likely to be felt by some crustaceans and by most fishes, especially those which use a lot of oxygen.

Prof. Munday said that around 2.3 billion tonnes of human CO2 emissions dissolve into the world’s oceans every year, causing changes in the chemical environment of the water in which fish and other species live.

'We’ve now established it isn’t simply the acidification of the oceans that is causing disruption – as is the case with shellfish and plankton with chalky skeletons – but the actual dissolved CO2 itself is damaging the fishes’ nervous systems.'
The work shows that fish with high oxygen consumption are likely to be most affected, suggesting the effects of high CO2 may impair some species worse than others – possibly including important species targeted by the world’s fishing industries.

The team’s latest paper Near-future CO2 levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function by Göran E. Nilsson, Danielle L. Dixson, Paolo Domenici, Mark I. McCormick, Christina Sørensen, Sue-Ann Watson, and Philip L. Munday appears in the journal Nature Climate Change.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies website




by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93554

12:05 PM Fri 3 Feb 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World



















































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
















New Classification Code for consultation released by the IPC
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race fleet heads for London
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi and Team Alvimedi head for England
Rio 2016 in the sights of ISAF Youth Worlds 420 sailors
Exciting new International Audi Melges 20 Ranking System now in play
FISU World University Match Racing Championships - GBR women win gold
2014 Seiko 49er and 49erFX European Championship - Day 2
Volvo Ocean Race teams Abu Dhabi and Alvimedica leave Newport, RI
Half Ton Classics Cup - Champagne conditions on Day 2 + Video
ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet   
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri   
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities   
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall   
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends   
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran   
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1   
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams   
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT