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  • 1. Bosiger, Yolly J.
    et al.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    Learning Temporal Patterns of Risk in a Predator-Diverse Environment2012In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 4, p. e34535-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2. Feeney, William E.
    et al.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Bosiger, Yolly Y.
    Martin, J
    Jones, Geoffrey P.
    Rowe, Richard J.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    High rate of prey consumption in a small predatory fish on coral reefs2012In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 909-918Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3. Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Munday, P. L.
    Meekan, Mark G.
    Dixson, Danielle D.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Putting prey and predator into the CO2 equation - quantitative and qualitative effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions2011In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 14, no 11, p. 1143-1148Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4. Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Munday, Phil L.
    Meekan, Mark G.
    Dixson, Danielle D.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Effects of ocean acidification on visual risk assessment by coral reef fishes2012In: Functional Ecology, ISSN 0269-8463, E-ISSN 1365-2435, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 553-558Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5. Finn, Maureen
    et al.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
    Rizzari, Justin
    Jones, Geoffrey
    Frisch, Ashley
    Experimental bleaching of a tropical sea anemone in situ2016In: Marine Ecolocy, ISSN 0173-9565, E-ISSN 1439-0485, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 691-696Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bleaching (whitening) of cnidarians such as corals and sea anemones has caused widespread degradation of coral reefs around the world and is therefore an urgent issue for coral reef science and conservation. Although cnidarians often bleach in aquaria, methods for experimental induction of bleaching in wild cnidarians are lacking, which impedes scientists’ ability to understand the ultimate effects of bleaching on the broader ecosystem. In this study, we investigated the utility of an in situ method for experimental induction of bleaching in the tropical sea anemone Heteractis crispa. Healthy, wild anemones were covered with opaque black plastic sheets, mesh cages or left undisturbed (controls) and tentacle colour and body size were monitored with a colour reference card and flexible tape, respectively, every 1–3 days for 15 days. Caged and control anemones remained unchanged for the duration of the experiment, but covered anemones commenced whitening after 4–6 days and were completely white after 7–14 days (mean time to bleaching SE = 10.1 0.7 days). Experimental bleaching occurred without reduction in anemone body size and was visibly similar to natural bleaching seen previously in H. crispa. We hypothesize that light-deprivation, reduced water flow, physical contact or some combination of these factors caused the bleaching. This study provides the basis for a simple and rapid method of inducing bleaching in situ, which releases scientists’ dependence on sporadic natural bleaching events or artificial aquarium experiments, and provides a means to investigate the effects of bleaching on other ecosystem components such as fishes.

  • 6.
    Frisch, Ashley J.
    et al.
    James Cook Univ, Australian Res Council Ctr Excellence Coral Reef, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Ireland, Matthew
    James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Rizzari, Justin R.
    James Cook Univ, Australian Res Council Ctr Excellence Coral Reef, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.;James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology. James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
    Magnenat, Katalin A.
    James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Mirbach, Christopher E.
    James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.
    Curtin Univ, Dept Environm & Agr, Perth, WA 6845, Australia..
    Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs2016In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 35, no 2, p. 459-472Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Apex predators often have strong top-down effects on ecosystem components and are therefore a priority for conservation and management. Due to their large size and conspicuous predatory behaviour, reef sharks are typically assumed to be apex predators, but their functional role is yet to be confirmed. In this study, we used stomach contents and stable isotopes to estimate diet, trophic position and carbon sources for three common species of reef shark (Triaenodon obesus, Carcharhinus melanopterus and C. amblyrhynchos) from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and evaluated their assumed functional role as apex predators by qualitative and quantitative comparisons with other sharks and large predatory fishes. We found that reef sharks do not occupy the apex of coral reef food chains, but instead have functional roles similar to those of large predatory fishes such as snappers, emperors and groupers, which are typically regarded as high-level mesopredators. We hypothesise that a degree of functional redundancy exists within this guild of predators, potentially explaining why shark-induced trophic cascades are rare or subtle in coral reef ecosystems. We also found that reef sharks participate in multiple food webs (pelagic and benthic) and are sustained by multiple sources of primary production. We conclude that large conspicuous predators, be they elasmobranchs or any other taxon, should not axiomatically be regarded as apex predators without thorough analysis of their diet. In the case of reef sharks, our dietary analyses suggest they should be reassigned to an alternative trophic group such as high-level mesopredators. This change will facilitate improved understanding of how reef communities function and how removal of predators (e.g., via fishing) might affect ecosystem properties.

  • 7.
    Lönnstedt, Oona
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
    Frisch, Achley J.
    Habitat bleaching disrupts threat responses and persistence in anemonefish2014In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 517, p. 265-270Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Climate-induced habitat bleaching is linked to dramatic declines in diversity and abundance of coral reef fish; however, mechanisms underlying these declines are poorly understood. Here, we used in situ studies to demonstrate that bleaching can influence persistence of reef fish by affecting behaviours, including responses to a potential predation threat. When encountering the predatory rock cod Cephalophalis cyanostigma, anemonefish Amphiprion akindynos occupying healthy unbleached host anemones Heteractis crispa respond by feeding less and spending more time within the anemone tentacles. When the host anemone was experimentally bleached, these visual risk responses were compromised: A. akindynos continued to feed and did not seek shelter. The impaired behavioural response may prove detrimental to anemonefish populations as abundance levels of fish on bleached anemones was reduced by 60% within 3 d, which may have been the result of increased predation. Our data illustrate how climate-induced habitat degradation can drive declines of reef fish by potentially altering outcomes of predator–prey interactions.

  • 8.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
    McCormick, Mark
    James Cook University.
    Damsel in distress: captured damselfish prey emit chemical cues that attract secondary predators and improve escape chances2015In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1818, p. 20152038-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In aquatic environments, many prey animals possess damage-released chemical alarm cues that elicit antipredator behaviours in responsive conand heterospecifics. Despite considerable study, the selective advantage of alarm cues remains unclear. In an attempt to investigate one of the more promising hypotheses concerning the evolution of alarm cues, we examined whether the cue functions in a fashion analogous to the distress vocalizations emitted by many terrestrial animals. Our results suggest that chemical alarm cues in damselfish (Pomacentridae) may have evolved to benefit the cue sender by attracting secondary predators who disrupt the predation event, allowing the prey a greater chance to escape. The coral reef piscivore, the dusky dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus), chemically eavesdrops on predation events and uses chemical alarm cues from fish prey (lemon damselfish; Pomacentrus moluccensis) in an attempt to find and steal prey from primary predators. Field studies showed that Ps. fuscus aggregate at sites where prey alarm cue has been experimentally released. Furthermore, secondary predators attempted to steal captured prey of primary predators in laboratory trials and enhanced prey escape chances by 35–40%. These results are the first, to the best of our knowledge, to demonstrate a mechanism by which marine fish may benefit from the production and release of alarm cues, and highlight the complex and important role that semiochemicals play in marine predator–prey interactions.

  • 9. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Chemical alarm cues inform prey of predation threat: the importance of ontogeny and concentration in a coral reef fish2011In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 82, p. 213-218Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Growth history and intrinsic factors influence risk assessment at a critical life transition for a fish2011In: Coral reefs (Print), ISSN 0722-4028, E-ISSN 1432-0975, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 805-812Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 11. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Ultimate predators: lionfish have evolved to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 10, p. e75781-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 12. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Degraded environments alter prey risk assessment2013In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 38-47Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Predator-induced changes in the growth of eyes and false eyespots2013In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 3, p. 2259-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia .
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Well-informed prey foraging: damage released alarm cues of injured prey signal quality and size to predators2012In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 168, no 3, p. 651-658Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    Habitat degradation is threatening reef replenishment by making fish fearless2014In: Journal of Animal Ecology, ISSN 0021-8790, E-ISSN 1365-2656, Vol. 83, no 5, p. 1178-1185Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Meekan, Mark G.
    Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Learn and live: the role of predator experience in influencing prey behaviour and survival2012In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 279, p. 2091-2096Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 17. Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    et al.
    Munday, Phil L.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    Ferrari, Maud C.O.
    Chivers, Douglas P.
    Ocean acidification and impaired responses to predation cues: can sensory compensation reduce the apparent impacts of elevated CO2 on fish?2013In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 3, no 10, p. 3565-3575Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 18. McCormick, Mark I.
    et al.
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Degrading habitats and the effect of topographic complexity on risk assessment2013In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 3, no 12, p. 4221-4229Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 19.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    et al.
    James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.;James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Lönnstedt, Oona M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology. James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.;James Cook Univ, Coll Marine & Environm Sci, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia..
    Disrupted learning: habitat degradation impairs crucial antipredator responses in naive prey2016In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 283, no 1830, article id 20160441Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Habitat degradation is a global problem and one of the main causes of bio-diversity loss. Though widespread, the mechanisms that underlie faunal changes are poorly understood. In tropical marine systems, corals play a crucial role in forming habitat, but coral cover on many reefs is declining sharply. Coral degradation affects the olfactory cues that provide reliable information on the presence and intensity of threat. Here, we show for the first time that the ability of a habitat generalist to learn predators using an efficient and widespread method of predator learning is compromised in degraded coral habitats. Results indicate that chemical alarm cues are no longer indicative of a local threat for the habitat generalist (the damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis), and these cues can no longer be used to learn the identity of novel predators in degraded habitats. By contrast, a rubble specialist and congeneric (Pomacentrus coelestis) responded to olfactory threat cues regardless of background environment and could learn the identity of a novel predator using chemical alarm cues. Understanding how some species can cope with or acclimate to the detrimental impacts of habitat degradation on risk assessment abilities will be crucial to defining the scope of resilience in threatened communities.

  • 20.
    Natt, Michael
    et al.
    James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld, Australia.;James Cook Univ, Dept Marine Biol & Aquaculture, Townsville, Qld, Australia..
    Lönnstedt, Oona
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
    McCormick, Mark I.
    James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld, Australia.;James Cook Univ, Dept Marine Biol & Aquaculture, Townsville, Qld, Australia..
    Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 6, article id e0179300Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stress ors. Habitat degradation modifies the sensory landscape within which predator-prey interactions occur, with implications for olfactory-mediated behaviours. Predator na ve settlement stage damselfish rely on conspecific damage-released odours (i.e., alarm odours) to inform risk assessments. Yet, species such as the Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, become unable to respond appropriately to these cues when living in dead-degraded coral habitats, leading to increased mortality through loss of vigilance. Reef fish predators also rely on odours from damaged prey to locate, assess prey quality and engage in prey-stealing, but it is unknown whether their responses are also modified by the change to dead degraded coral habitats. Implications for prey clearly depend on how their predatory counterparts are affected, therefore the present study tested whether olfactory-mediated foraging responses in the dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus, a common predator of P. amboinensis, were similarly affected by coral degradation. A y-maze was used to measure the ability of Ps. fuscus to detect and move towards odours, against different background water sources. Ps. fuscus were exposed to damage-released odours from juvenile P. amboinensis, or a control cue of seawater, against a background of seawater treated with either healthy or dead-degraded hard coral. Predators exhibited an increased time allocation to the chambers of y-mazes injected with damage-released odours, with comparable levels of response in both healthy and dead-degraded coral treated waters. In control treatments, where damage-released odours were replaced with a control seawater cue, fish showed no increased preference for either chamber of the y-maze. Our results suggest that olfactory-mediated foraging behaviours may persist in Ps. fuscus within dead-degraded coral habitats. Ps. fuscus may consequently gain a sensory advantage over P. amboinensis, potentially altering the outcome of predator-prey interactions.

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