Shoaling reduces metabolic rate in a gregarious coral reef fish species

Nadler, L. E., Killen, S. S. , McClure, E. C., Munday, P. L. and McCormick, M. I. (2016) Shoaling reduces metabolic rate in a gregarious coral reef fish species. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(18), pp. 2802-2805. (doi: 10.1242/jeb.139493) (PMID:27655821) (PMCID:PMC5047653)

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Many animals live in groups because of the potential benefits associated with defense and foraging. Group living may also induce a ‘calming effect’ on individuals, reducing overall metabolic demand. This effect could occur by minimising the need for individual vigilance and reducing stress through social buffering. However, this effect has proved difficult to quantify. We examined the effect of shoaling on metabolism and body condition in the gregarious damselfish Chromis viridis. Using a novel respirometry methodology for social species, we found that the presence of shoal-mate visual and olfactory cues led to a reduction in the minimum metabolic rate of individuals. Fish held in isolation for 1 week also exhibited a reduction in body condition when compared with those held in shoals. These results indicate that social isolation as a result of environmental disturbance could have physiological consequences for gregarious species.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Killen, Professor Shaun
Authors: Nadler, L. E., Killen, S. S., McClure, E. C., Munday, P. L., and McCormick, M. I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Experimental Biology
Publisher:The Company of Biologists Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1477-9145
Published Online:21 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Experimental Biology 219:2802-2805
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
594261The Influence of Individual Physiology on Group Behaviour in Fish SchoolsShaun KillenNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/J019100/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED