Effects of dispersant-treated oil upon behavioural and metabolic parameters of the anti-predator response in juvenile European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

Type Article
Date 2022-08
Language English
Author(s) Aimon C.1, 2, Lebigre ChristopheORCID3, Le Floch Stephane2, Claireaux Guy1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université de Bretagne Occidentale, LEMAR (UMR 6539), Centre Ifremer de Bretagne, 29280 Plouzané, France
2 : CEDRE, Research Department, 715 rue Alain Colas, CS 41836, Brest 29218-Cedex 2, France
3 : Ifremer, Fisheries Science and Technology Unit (STH/LBH), Centre Ifremer de Bretagne, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Science Of The Total Environment (0048-9697) (Elsevier BV), 2022-08 , Vol. 834 , P. 155430 (10p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155430
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) Behaviour, Metabolism, Oil spill, Teleost fish, Anti-predator response, European sea bass

Acute exposure to oil and oil dispersants can cause a wide range of physiological dysfunctions in marine fish species and evidences for consequences on behaviour are also increasing. In response to the presence of predators or to food availability, the modulation of locomotor activity and schools' behaviour enable fish to maximize their survival rates. However, the degree to which this regulatory process is affected by exposure to oil and/or dispersants is yet unknown. Here we investigated the effect of a 62-h experimental exposure to dispersant-treated oil on the behavioural (shoal cohesion, spontaneous activity) and metabolic (oxygen consumption) responses to simulated predation in juvenile European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax L. Our results suggest that exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons may affect negatively individual fitness through impaired ability to respond to predation. Shoal cohesion was not affected, but fish swimming activity was higher than control individuals under predation pressure and the amplitude of their metabolic response was significantly reduced. Fish recovered from alteration of their metabolic response 7 days post-exposure. Additionally, a strong habituation component was observed in C fish and the absence of such pattern in E fish suggest altered capacity to habituate over time to the surrounding environment and possible impairments of the related cognitive performances. Altogether, our data show that juvenile sea bass exposed to oil exhibit transient physiological dysfunctions and impairments of complex behaviours that may have major population-level consequences.

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