Ocean acidification deprives the ability to hear the predator fish


02/06/2011

With the Industrial Revolution, more than half of all gas CO2, produced by burning fuel was consumed with the ocean, strongly increasing the pH level in the past 650,000 years, which is the result of ocean acidification. Recent studies have shown that it is for this reason, the fish began to lose the sense of smell, and a new analysis published recently in the journal "Biology Letters", shows that the hearing ability of fish also significantly impaired.

By collaborating with Professor Philip Mandey (Philip Munday) in James Cook University, lead author of the study, Dr. Steve Simpson (Steve Simpson) from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol bred clown fish fry in a variety of environments saturated with carbon dioxide CO2. "We kept a few clown fish fry in today’s atmosphere, and then in the other three environments, where we have introduced an additional amount of CO2, based on projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2050-2100 years" - said Dr. Simpson. After 17-20 days, Dr. Simpson checked the reaction of young fish to the sounds of predators, consisting of noises produced by crustaceans and fish that abound in coral reefs.

"We have developed a completely new type of experimental room, which has allowed us to simulate the noise of reefs in the laboratory and observe the reaction of the fish" - continued Dr. Simpson. "Fish that are in today’s atmosphere swam away from the predator noise, but those who were in environments with a high content of CO2, did not show any reaction." This analysis demonstrates that the oxidation not only affects the ocean to external sensory system in animals, but also on the internal sensor system of fish. Fish ears are hidden deep in the back of their heads, suggesting that the conditions with lower pH levels can have a profound impact on the overall functioning of the sensory system.

The ability of fish to adapt to rapidly changing conditions remain unknown. Dr. Simpson noted the following: "What have we done? We put today’s fish in tomorrow’s environment possible, and the results are potentially exhaustive. We do not yet know whether the following several generations of fish to adapt and make ocean acidification. This is - one-way experiment on a global scale and the prediction of outcomes and interactions is a huge challenge for the scientific community. "

Original: Physorg Translation: M. Potter


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