Publication details.


Author(s):C. Díaz-Gil, J. Alós, P. Arechavala-Lopez, M. Palmer, I. Riera-Batle, A. Grau, I.A. Catalán
Title:Reversible morphological changes in a juvenile marine fish after exposure to predatory alarm cues
Journal:Royal Society Open Science
JCR Impact Factor:2.963
Issue No.:5
Abstract:Chemical cues from predators induce a range of predatorinduced morphological defences (PIMDs) observed across fish taxa. However, the mechanisms, consistency, direction and adaptive value of PIMDs are still poorly studied. Here, we have tested if predatory cues can induce changes in the body shape  of the juvenile marine fish Sparus aurata reared under controlled conditions without the presence of predators by exposing individuals to the olfactory stimulus of a fish predator. We tested our hypothesis using a nested replicated before-aftercontrol-impact experiment, including recovery (potential reversibility) after the cessation of the predator stimulus.
Differences in the size-independent body shape were explored using landmark-based geometric morphometrics and revealed that, on average, individuals exposed to a predatory cue presented deeper bodies and longer caudal regions, according to our adaptive theoretical predictions. These average plastic responses were reversible after withdrawal of the stimulus and individuals returned to average body shapes. We, therefore, provide evidence supporting innate reversible PIMDs in marine naive fish reared under controlled conditions. The effects at the individual level, including fitness and the associated applied implications, deserve further research.

Related staff

  • Pablo Arechavala López
  • Ignacio A. Catalán Alemany
  • Miguel Palmer Vidal
  • Related departments

  • Marine Ecology
  • Related projects

  • REC2