Brevia

Dimethylsulfoniopropionate as a Foraging Cue for Reef Fishes

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Science  07 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5868, pp. 1356
DOI: 10.1126/science.1151109

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Abstract

Coral reefs resemble islands of productive habitats where fishes aggregate, forage, and spawn. Although it has been suggested that some reef fishes use biogenic chemicals as aggregation cues, specific chemicals have not been identified. Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a secondary metabolite of many marine algal species, is released during foraging by higher-order consumers. DMSP has been studied intensively for its role in oceanic sulfur cycles and global climate regulation, but its ecological importance to marine fishes is unknown. We present evidence that planktivorous reef fishes will aggregate to experimental deployments of DMSP over coral reef habitats in the wild.

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