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Influence of acoustics on the collective behaviour of a shoaling freshwater fish

Influence of acoustics on the collective behaviour of a shoaling freshwater fish
Influence of acoustics on the collective behaviour of a shoaling freshwater fish
1. Understanding how collective behaviour of animals is influenced by anthropogenic activity is important for their conservation in an increasingly urbanised world. River infrastructure, e.g. for transport and electricity generation, and associated construction and operation,
produce sound that can disrupt ecological processes.
2. Adopting a reductionist manipulative experimental approach using Eurasian minnow
(Phoxinus phoxinus) as a model shoaling species, we compared the response of individuals and groups of five fish to a broadband acoustic stimulus in a tank containing still water.
3. Four metrics were calculated 10 min immediately before (control – sound stimulus absent) and during the acoustic treatment: (1) swimming speed, (2) persistence of swim paths, (3) cohesion of the group, and (4) orientation of group members.
4. On presentation of the stimulus, groups exhibited a consistent escape response compared to individuals for which behaviour was more variable. Thereafter, individuals swam faster and
their swim paths were less persistent than during the control; no difference was observed for groups. Conversely, group integrity became more cohesive and members were more likely to orient in a common direction during the treatment compared to the control.
5. This study provides insight into the importance of collective behaviour of fish in relation to antipredator-like response to anthropogenic noise. Short-term shifts in behaviour are context specific, and depend on whether fish are members of a shoal or solitary. The results indicate the potential for negative impacts of unnatural sound on the ecology of shoaling species that inhabit engineered freshwater environments.
Schools, anthropogenic disturbance, group behaviour, noise, sound
0046-5070
2186-2195
Short, Matthew
c35b7c53-0127-43cf-87c2-990a4e5fe74d
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Leighton, Timothy
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Kemp, Paul
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7
Short, Matthew
c35b7c53-0127-43cf-87c2-990a4e5fe74d
White, Paul
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Leighton, Timothy
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Kemp, Paul
9e33fba6-cccf-4eb5-965b-b70e72b11cd7

Short, Matthew, White, Paul, Leighton, Timothy and Kemp, Paul (2020) Influence of acoustics on the collective behaviour of a shoaling freshwater fish. Freshwater Biology, 65 (12), 2186-2195. (doi:10.1111/fwb.13612).

Record type: Article

Abstract

1. Understanding how collective behaviour of animals is influenced by anthropogenic activity is important for their conservation in an increasingly urbanised world. River infrastructure, e.g. for transport and electricity generation, and associated construction and operation,
produce sound that can disrupt ecological processes.
2. Adopting a reductionist manipulative experimental approach using Eurasian minnow
(Phoxinus phoxinus) as a model shoaling species, we compared the response of individuals and groups of five fish to a broadband acoustic stimulus in a tank containing still water.
3. Four metrics were calculated 10 min immediately before (control – sound stimulus absent) and during the acoustic treatment: (1) swimming speed, (2) persistence of swim paths, (3) cohesion of the group, and (4) orientation of group members.
4. On presentation of the stimulus, groups exhibited a consistent escape response compared to individuals for which behaviour was more variable. Thereafter, individuals swam faster and
their swim paths were less persistent than during the control; no difference was observed for groups. Conversely, group integrity became more cohesive and members were more likely to orient in a common direction during the treatment compared to the control.
5. This study provides insight into the importance of collective behaviour of fish in relation to antipredator-like response to anthropogenic noise. Short-term shifts in behaviour are context specific, and depend on whether fish are members of a shoal or solitary. The results indicate the potential for negative impacts of unnatural sound on the ecology of shoaling species that inhabit engineered freshwater environments.

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Short et al. Freshwater Biology - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 September 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 October 2020
Keywords: Schools, anthropogenic disturbance, group behaviour, noise, sound

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444118
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444118
ISSN: 0046-5070
PURE UUID: 2bc05afc-a3db-456f-8afd-e92b6fe5926a
ORCID for Paul White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-8713
ORCID for Timothy Leighton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1649-8750
ORCID for Paul Kemp: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4470-0589

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Date deposited: 28 Sep 2020 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:03

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