Fishy behavior: ocean acidification alters the way fish behave

Ocean acidification

Shellfish and their calcium carbonate shells have taken the spotlight during the ocean acidification discussion. We know that other animals in the ocean will be affected, but we’ve only just begin looking beyond shells and skeletons. Biologists have started to look at the behavior of fish in lower pH conditions – with surprising results.

If you put a fish in acidifying water, you’re likely to see quite a drastic change in behavior. That is not really a surprise. What is surprising is how different fish are behaving under the lower pH levels predicted for the year 2050. Two studies looking at fish behavior in response to ocean acidification has us a bit confused and definitely curious about the implications. The studies – one on rockfish and the other on clownfish – have yielded contradictory and puzzling results. Clownfish, a famous crowd favorite, are showing a unusual lack of fear for…

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