Seawater carbonate chemistry and fish cognitive performance


Ocean acidification is one of the many consequences of climate change. Various studies suggest that marine organisms' behaviour will be impaired under high CO2. Here, we show that the cognitive performance of the cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, has not suffered from the increase of CO2 from pre-industrial levels to today, and that the standing variation in CO2 tolerance offers potential for adaptation to at least 750 µatm. We acclimated cleaners over 30 days to five levels of pCO2, from pre-industrial to high future CO2 scenarios, before testing them in an ecologically relevant task—the ability to learn to prioritize an ephemeral food source over a permanent one. Fish learning abilities remained stable from pre-industrial to present-day pCO2. While performance was reduced under mid (750 µatm) and high CO2 (980 µatm) scenarios, under the former 36% of cleaners still solved the task. The presence of tolerant individuals reveals potential for adaptation, as long as selection pressure on cognitive performance is strong. However, the apparent absence of high CO2 tolerant fish, and potentially synergistic effects between various climate change stressors, renders the probability of further adaptation unlikely.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2019) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2020-04-02.

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Metadata Access
Creator Paula, José Ricardo; Baptista, Miguel; Carvalho, Francisco; Repolho, Tiago; Bshary, Redouan; Rosa, Rui
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2019
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 2360 data points
Discipline Earth System Research