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Type: Journal article
Title: Ocean acidification boosts reproduction in fish via indirect effects
Author: Nagelkerken, I.
Alemany, T.
Anquetin, J.M.
Ferreira, C.M.
Ludwig, K.E.
Sasaki, M.
Connell, S.D.
Citation: PLoS Biology, 2021; 19(1):1-21
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1544-9173
Statement of
Ivan Nagelkerken, Tiphaine Alemany, Julie M. Anquetin, Camilo M. Ferreira, Kim E. Ludwig, Minami Sasaki, Sean D. Connell
Abstract: Ocean acidification affects species populations and biodiversity through direct negative effects on physiology and behaviour. The indirect effects of elevated CO₂ are less well known and can sometimes be counterintuitive. Reproduction lies at the crux of species population replenishment, but we do not know how ocean acidification affects reproduction in the wild. Here, we use natural CO₂ vents at a temperate rocky reef and show that even though ocean acidification acts as a direct stressor, it can indirectly increase energy budgets of fish to stimulate reproduction at no cost to physiological homeostasis. Female fish maintained energy levels by compensation: They reduced activity (foraging and aggression) to increase reproduction. In male fish, increased reproductive investment was linked to increased energy intake as mediated by intensified foraging on more abundant prey. Greater biomass of prey at the vents was linked to greater biomass of algae, as mediated by a fertilisation effect of elevated CO₂ on primary production. Additionally, the abundance and aggression of paternal carers were elevated at the CO₂ vents, which may further boost reproductive success. These positive indirect effects of elevated CO₂ were only observed for the species of fish that was generalistic and competitively dominant, but not for 3 species of subordinate and more specialised fishes. Hence, species that capitalise on future resource enrichment can accelerate their reproduction and increase their populations, thereby altering species communities in a future ocean.
Keywords: Animals
Carbon Dioxide
Population Growth
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
New Zealand
Oceans and Seas
Sexual Behavior, Animal
Stress, Physiological
Climate Change
Rights: © 2021 Nagelkerken et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001033
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Environment Institute publications

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