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Boat Noise Impacts Symbiotic Relationship of Cleaner Fish
By Joanna Lentini, August 9, 2017 @ 02:40 PM (EST)
Source: Science Daily

According to a recent study at the University of Exeter, noise from motor boats disrupts the natural behavior of “cleaner fish”—those creatures that serve their fellow fish by eating the parasites attached to them—harming the symbiotic relationship that helps both species thrive. Because of this disruption, the study’s authors recommend limiting human-made noises in areas where marine life is being protected through the establishment of “quiet zones,” corridors in which human-made noise is controlled. They fear that that coral reef systems, already undergoing destruction from bleaching in many areas, will be negatively impacted even further. Ridding the host fish of these parasites is essential to maintaining not only the health of the coral reef fish, but their abundance and diversity as well.

The researchers observed the bluestreak cleaner wrasse and discovered that in higher noise areas, the cleaner fish change their behavior and ultimately harm the fish they are supposed to be helping. Instead of eating the parasites, the cleaner fish are eating away at the host fish’s mucous layers. Distracted by the boat noise, the host fish do not respond as they normally would, by leaving or retaliating. Instead, they allow it to continue longer than they usually would. This behavior was observed at 17 of the 24 “cleaner stations” observed.

Read more here.



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Vefer Vefer
Aug 24, 2017 2:38 AM
Vefer Vefer wrote:
loks like a neon
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