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Comparative visual function in four piscivorous fishes inhabiting Chesapeake Bay

Horodysky, Andrij Z.; Brill, Richard W.; Warrant, Eric LU ; Musick, John A. and Latour, Robert J. (2010) In Journal of Experimental Biology 213(10). p.1751-1761
Abstract
Maintaining optimal visual performance is a difficult task in photodynamic coastal and estuarine waters because of the unavoidable tradeoffs between luminous sensitivity and spatial and temporal resolution, yet the visual systems of coastal piscivores remain understudied despite differences in their ecomorphology and microhabitat use. We therefore used electroretinographic techniques to describe the light sensitivities, temporal properties and spectral sensitivities of the visual systems of four piscivorous fishes common to coastal and estuarine waters of the western North Atlantic: striped bass (Morone saxatilis), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and cobia (Rachycentron canadum). Benthic summer... (More)
Maintaining optimal visual performance is a difficult task in photodynamic coastal and estuarine waters because of the unavoidable tradeoffs between luminous sensitivity and spatial and temporal resolution, yet the visual systems of coastal piscivores remain understudied despite differences in their ecomorphology and microhabitat use. We therefore used electroretinographic techniques to describe the light sensitivities, temporal properties and spectral sensitivities of the visual systems of four piscivorous fishes common to coastal and estuarine waters of the western North Atlantic: striped bass (Morone saxatilis), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and cobia (Rachycentron canadum). Benthic summer flounder exhibited higher luminous sensitivity and broader dynamic range than the three pelagic foragers. The former were at the more sensitive end of an emerging continuum for coastal fishes. By contrast, pelagic species were comparatively less sensitive, but showed larger day-night differences, consistent with their use of diel light-variant photic habitats. Flicker fusion frequency experiments revealed significant interspecific differences at maximum intensities that correlated with lifestyle and habitat. Spectral responses of most species spanned 400-610nm, with significant day-night differences in striped bass and bluefish. Anadromous striped bass additionally responded to longer wavelengths, similar to many freshwater fishes. Collectively, these results suggest that pelagic piscivores are well adapted to bright photoclimates, which may be at odds with the modern state of eutrified coastal and estuarine waters that they utilize. Recent anthropogenic degradation of water quality in coastal environments, at a pace faster than the evolution of visual systems, may impede visually foraging piscivores, change selected prey, and eventually restructure ecosystems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
spectral, flicker fusion frequency, electroretinography, fish, sensitivity, piscivore, visual ecology
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
213
issue
10
pages
1751 - 1761
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000277212900022
  • scopus:77951738010
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.038117
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
71726902-ded7-4fb3-b1c7-a20c12b68c07 (old id 1619395)
date added to LUP
2010-06-18 14:21:29
date last changed
2018-10-03 10:30:18
@article{71726902-ded7-4fb3-b1c7-a20c12b68c07,
  abstract     = {Maintaining optimal visual performance is a difficult task in photodynamic coastal and estuarine waters because of the unavoidable tradeoffs between luminous sensitivity and spatial and temporal resolution, yet the visual systems of coastal piscivores remain understudied despite differences in their ecomorphology and microhabitat use. We therefore used electroretinographic techniques to describe the light sensitivities, temporal properties and spectral sensitivities of the visual systems of four piscivorous fishes common to coastal and estuarine waters of the western North Atlantic: striped bass (Morone saxatilis), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and cobia (Rachycentron canadum). Benthic summer flounder exhibited higher luminous sensitivity and broader dynamic range than the three pelagic foragers. The former were at the more sensitive end of an emerging continuum for coastal fishes. By contrast, pelagic species were comparatively less sensitive, but showed larger day-night differences, consistent with their use of diel light-variant photic habitats. Flicker fusion frequency experiments revealed significant interspecific differences at maximum intensities that correlated with lifestyle and habitat. Spectral responses of most species spanned 400-610nm, with significant day-night differences in striped bass and bluefish. Anadromous striped bass additionally responded to longer wavelengths, similar to many freshwater fishes. Collectively, these results suggest that pelagic piscivores are well adapted to bright photoclimates, which may be at odds with the modern state of eutrified coastal and estuarine waters that they utilize. Recent anthropogenic degradation of water quality in coastal environments, at a pace faster than the evolution of visual systems, may impede visually foraging piscivores, change selected prey, and eventually restructure ecosystems.},
  author       = {Horodysky, Andrij Z. and Brill, Richard W. and Warrant, Eric and Musick, John A. and Latour, Robert J.},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {spectral,flicker fusion frequency,electroretinography,fish,sensitivity,piscivore,visual ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1751--1761},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Comparative visual function in four piscivorous fishes inhabiting Chesapeake Bay},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.038117},
  volume       = {213},
  year         = {2010},
}