Shoaling Reduces Metabolic Rate in a Gregarious Coral Reef Fish Species
Journal of Experimental Biology
Calming effect, Metabolism, Body condition, Respirometry, Energetics, Chromis viridis
Many animals live in groups because of the potential benefits associated with defense and foraging. Group living may also induce a ‘calming effect’ on individuals, reducing overall metabolic demand. This effect could occur by minimising the need for individual vigilance and reducing stress through social buffering. However, this effect has proved difficult to quantify. We examined the effect of shoaling on metabolism and body condition in the gregarious damselfish Chromis viridis. Using a novel respirometry methodology for social species, we found that the presence of shoal-mate visual and olfactory cues led to a reduction in the minimum metabolic rate of individuals. Fish held in isolation for 1 week also exhibited a reduction in body condition when compared with those held in shoals. These results indicate that social isolation as a result of environmental disturbance could have physiological consequences for gregarious species.
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Lauren E. Nadler, Shaun S. Killen, Eva C. McClure, Philip L. Munday, and Mark I. McCormick. 2016. Shoaling Reduces Metabolic Rate in a Gregarious Coral Reef Fish Species .Journal of Experimental Biology : 2802 -2805. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1105.