Near-future ocean warming and acidification alter foraging behaviour, locomotion, and metabolic rate in a keystone marine mollusc

Horwitz, R. et al. (2020) Near-future ocean warming and acidification alter foraging behaviour, locomotion, and metabolic rate in a keystone marine mollusc. Scientific Reports, 10, 5461. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62304-4) (PMID:32214174) (PMCID:PMC7096400)

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Abstract

Environmentally-induced changes in fitness are mediated by direct effects on physiology and behaviour, which are tightly linked. We investigated how predicted ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) affect key ecological behaviours (locomotion speed and foraging success) and metabolic rate of a keystone marine mollusc, the sea hare Stylocheilus striatus, a specialist grazer of the toxic cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. We acclimated sea hares to OW and/or OA across three developmental stages (metamorphic, juvenile, and adult) or as adults only, and compare these to sea hares maintained under current-day conditions. Generally, locomotion speed and time to locate food were reduced ~1.5- to 2-fold when the stressors (OW or OA) were experienced in isolation, but reduced ~3-fold when combined. Decision-making was also severely altered, with correct foraging choice nearly 40% lower under combined stressors. Metabolic rate appeared to acclimate to the stressors in isolation, but was significantly elevated under combined stressors. Overall, sea hares that developed under OW and/or OA exhibited a less severe impact, indicating beneficial phenotypic plasticity. Reduced foraging success coupled with increased metabolic demands may impact fitness in this species and highlight potentially large ecological consequences under unabated OW and OA, namely in regulating toxic cyanobacteria blooms on coral reefs.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Killen, Professor Shaun and Norin, Dr Tommy
Authors: Horwitz, R., Norin, T., Watson, S.-A., Pistevos, J. C.A., Beldade, R., Hacquart, S., Gattuso, J.-P., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Vidal-Dupoil, J., Killen, S., and Mills, S. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 10:5461
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
167015The Influence of Individual Physiology on Group Behaviour in Fish SchoolsShaun KillenNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/J019100/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine