worsening problem of ocean acidification have been found to have previously unknown consequences for fish. A new study has linked exposure to acidic waters for anxiety in young rockfish.
Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, causing a drop in pH. Our oceans absorb a quarter of the emissions of greenhouse gases is estimated. This can lead to various serious problems, including disruption shell and bone growth in certain marine animals. The loss of these animals would affect the entire food chain.
In this new study testing the effects of ocean acidification on rockfish, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, along with researchers at the MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada, uses a software-based tracking cameras to track two groups of juvenile rockfish. One group remained in normal seawater, and the other was kept in water with high levels of acidity projected for the end of the century.
After a week, the researchers analyzed the tendency of each group to swim in the clear or dark areas of a tank, a test set used to measure anxiety levels in fish. They found that the fish that had been prefer acidic water remained in the dark areas of the tank, while the fish kept in seawater swimming freely normal between light and darkness. This indicated to the researchers that fish exposed acidity were more anxious, and anxiety did not decrease up to 12 days in normal seawater, passed.
Martin Tresguerres, co-author of the study and marine biologist at Scripps, said, “These results are new and reflection, because they reveal a possible negative effect of ocean acidification on fish behavior that can possibly affect dynamics of normal populations and perhaps even affect fishing. “
Researchers say that the behavior of rockfish in response to the acidity of the ocean could be explained by changes in the concentration of ions in the blood of fish, which can reverse the flow of ions through GABA receptors (neuronal gamma-aminobutyric type A). These receptors are involved in human anxiety levels as well.
Tresguerres said, “if the behavior we observed in the laboratory applies to nature during conditions of ocean acidification could mean that fish juvenile rock can spend more time in the shadows instead of explore around. This would have negative implications due to the reduction of time foraging for food, or alter the behavior of dispersion, among others. ”
are an important commercial fish species in California, and significant changes in behavior could have a strong impact on this industry. Besides that, they are an important part of the whole food chain, and although more studies to see how far this effect reaches are needed, it is reasonable to hypothesize that many other species may experience behavioral changes.
For this reason, and countless others, like a planet that seriously address our emissions of greenhouse gases, before the future of our oceans grows even more uncertain.
alternative -The Daily