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Tuesday, January 29 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
(SYMPOSIA-09) Effects of Sociability and Conspecifics on CO2 Avoidance in Fish

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AUTHORS: Emily K. Tucker, Cory D. Suski – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) has been proposed as a non-physical deterrent to prevent the movement of fishes in freshwater systems. Previous studies have shown that fish of different species tend to avoid CO<sub>2</sub> at 50,000-75,000 µatm, but there is also wide variation between individual fish in the amount of CO<sub>2</sub> required to elicit avoidance. In many of these previous studies, fish were tested for CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance individually. Many fish species, including bigheaded carp, are frequently found in groups, and it is not known if the response of groups of fish to CO<sub>2</sub> exposure is consistent with the response of individuals. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to define CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance in fish that are part of a social group relative to when tested individually. Bluegill were first tested individually in a "shuttle box" choice assay, to define their initial avoidance threshold. All bluegill were then assigned to groups for a social network assay to determine the social personality type of each fish. Finally, each social group was tested together in the shuttle box to define the CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance threshold of the group. Results indicate that fish in a social group that are exposed to CO<sub>2</sub> will shuttle at an average of 6 times lower partial pressures of CO<sub>2</sub> (pCO<sub>2</sub>) than fish tested individually, and that fish in groups had significantly less individual variation in CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance thresholds than fish that were not in groups. However, social personality type was not associated with shuttling behavior. Our results indicate that individual variation in CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance is greatly reduced when fish are in social groups. This has important implications for the use of CO<sub>2</sub> in fisheries management, as less CO<sub>2</sub> might be needed to deter groups of fish relative to deterring individuals.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

Attendees (5)