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Pre-settlement coral-reef fish larvae respond to magnetic field changes during the day

O'Connor, Jack and Muheim, Rachel LU (2017) In Journal of Experimental Biology 220(16). p.2874-2877
Abstract

Observations of coral-reef fish larvae have revealed remarkably consistent orientation behaviour while swimming offshore, requiring large-scale orientation cues. However, the mechanisms underlying this behaviour are still being investigated. One potential large-scale cue for orientation is the Earth's geomagnetic field. Here, we examined the effect of magnetic field manipulations on the orientation behaviour of coral-reef fish during the pelagic larval phase. In the absence of visual cues, individual larvae responded to a 90 deg shift of the horizontal component of the magnetic field within a Helmholtz coil with a comparable shift in orientation, demonstrating that they use a magnetic compass for orientation. Our findings suggest that... (More)

Observations of coral-reef fish larvae have revealed remarkably consistent orientation behaviour while swimming offshore, requiring large-scale orientation cues. However, the mechanisms underlying this behaviour are still being investigated. One potential large-scale cue for orientation is the Earth's geomagnetic field. Here, we examined the effect of magnetic field manipulations on the orientation behaviour of coral-reef fish during the pelagic larval phase. In the absence of visual cues, individual larvae responded to a 90 deg shift of the horizontal component of the magnetic field within a Helmholtz coil with a comparable shift in orientation, demonstrating that they use a magnetic compass for orientation. Our findings suggest that geomagnetic field information guides swimming behaviour of larval fish in the pre-settlement phase. The ability to use large-scale sensory cues allows location-independent orientation of swimming, a behaviour that influences dispersal and connectivity of fish populations, which has important ecological implications for anthropogenic development of marine areas.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Dispersal, Larval ecology, Magnetoreception, Orientation behaviour
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
220
issue
16
pages
4 pages
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85027879127
ISSN
0022-0949
DOI
10.1242/jeb.159491
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9c564118-64a4-4c73-8008-7267cf2bcff8
date added to LUP
2018-01-18 10:07:27
date last changed
2018-01-19 03:00:02
@article{9c564118-64a4-4c73-8008-7267cf2bcff8,
  abstract     = {<p>Observations of coral-reef fish larvae have revealed remarkably consistent orientation behaviour while swimming offshore, requiring large-scale orientation cues. However, the mechanisms underlying this behaviour are still being investigated. One potential large-scale cue for orientation is the Earth's geomagnetic field. Here, we examined the effect of magnetic field manipulations on the orientation behaviour of coral-reef fish during the pelagic larval phase. In the absence of visual cues, individual larvae responded to a 90 deg shift of the horizontal component of the magnetic field within a Helmholtz coil with a comparable shift in orientation, demonstrating that they use a magnetic compass for orientation. Our findings suggest that geomagnetic field information guides swimming behaviour of larval fish in the pre-settlement phase. The ability to use large-scale sensory cues allows location-independent orientation of swimming, a behaviour that influences dispersal and connectivity of fish populations, which has important ecological implications for anthropogenic development of marine areas.</p>},
  author       = {O'Connor, Jack and Muheim, Rachel},
  issn         = {0022-0949},
  keyword      = {Dispersal,Larval ecology,Magnetoreception,Orientation behaviour},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {16},
  pages        = {2874--2877},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Pre-settlement coral-reef fish larvae respond to magnetic field changes during the day},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.159491},
  volume       = {220},
  year         = {2017},
}