Fish From Acidic Ocean Waters Less Able to Smell Predators

April 14, 2014

Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor were less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.

The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.

"These results verify our laboratory findings," said Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. "There's no difference between the fish treated with CO2 in the lab in tests for chemical senses versus the fish we caught and tested from the CO2 reef."

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