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Temperature dependent effects of carbon dioxide on avoidance behaviors in bigheaded carps

Tix, John A., Cupp, Aaron R., Smerud, Justin R., Erickson, Richard A., Fredricks, Kim T., Amberg, Jon J., Suski, Cory D.
Biological invasions 2018 v.20 no.11 pp. 3095-3105
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, avoidance behavior, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, ecological invasion, ecosystems, freshwater fish, invasive species, temporal variation, water temperature
Effective behavioral deterrents are needed to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering novel ecosystems. One deterrent strategy that shows promise is elevated carbon dioxide (CO₂) concentrations in water which can alter the behavior of freshwater fishes, including invasive bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.). However, few studies have evaluated behavioral responses to elevated CO₂ concentrations at different water temperatures. The objective of this study was to quantify CO₂ concentrations needed to achieve avoidance (voluntary response) and narcosis (involuntary response observed by loss of equilibrium) behaviors in silver carp (H. molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) at 5, 15, and 25 °C. Overall, silver carp and bighead carp displayed avoidance and narcosis behaviors to CO₂ at each water temperature, however bighead carp responded at higher CO₂ concentrations than silver carp. Behavioral avoidance and narcosis were observed at approximately 40% lower CO₂ concentrations in 5 °C water relative to 25 °C suggesting considerable influence of water temperature on a CO₂ stimulus for both species. Results indicate that fluctuating water temperature (e.g., spatial and temporal variation across management sites) can influence how fish respond to elevated CO₂, and may usefully be considered when applying CO₂ as a behavioral deterrent.