A new paper involving Environment Institute member Ivan Nagelkerken, as well as Chantal Huijbers, Pauline Lössbroek, Ines Schulten, Andjin Siegenthaler (all from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands), Marc Holderied and Stephen Simpson (both from the University of Bristol, UK) has recently been published in the journal Ecology.
The paper, titled ‘A test of the senses: Fish select novel habitats by responding to multiple cues’, tested how oceanic larvae and recent settlers of a coral reef fish may use multiple sensory modalities (hearing, vision, and olfaction) in a sequential order to locate distant coastal habitats, such as mangroves and seagrass beds, that are required to complete their life cycle. The research shows that these fish respond differently to the same cues from different habitats; for example, early-juvenile fish only responded to sound from coral reefs and to chemical cues from mangroves/seagrass beds, while visual cues of conspecifics overruled olfactory cues from mangrove/seagrass water. These adaptations may enable fish to find optimal habitat during a critical stage of their life cycle.
Read and download the paper to find out more and read about the findings.
Ivan Nagelkerken is a new member of the Environment Institute and Marine Biology Program, and has moved from the Netherlands to the University of Adelaide this year to take up his new position. His research has focussed on the role of ecosystem connectivity in sustaining the productivity and functioning of coral reefs. In his new role he will continue to work on connectivity, as well as focussing on the effects of ocean acidification and sea surface temperature rise on larval fish, in collaboration with various members of the Environment Institute.