Quintas do MARE | José Ricardo Paula


From neurons to ecosystems: bio-ecological responses of cleaning mutualisms to ocean warming and acidification
Species’ cognition is tightly linked to their evolutionary history and ecology. The cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus evolved a set of cognitive tools and sophisticated behaviour to engage in cooperative cleaning interactions with other reef fish species. Yet the ecological conditions where cleaners were able to evolve their cognitive abilities are changing due to by climate change-induced stressors such as warming acidification and extreme events as cyclones and heatwaves. It is unknown how stressors like ocean acidification and ocean warming impact cleaner fish cognitive sophistication and cooperative behaviour. During this seminar I will present our MUTUALCHANGE project, where we’ve been studying the effects of ocean warming and acidification on cooperative cleaning interactions. We use behavioural neuroendocrinology, neuropharmacology and cognition tests to assess the effects of acidification and warming in cooperative interactions, ecological manipulations to understand the direct effects of cleaning in client fitness and acclimation capacity and species distribution modelling to determine future and present biogeography patterns of cooperative life. This project constitutes the first empirical evidence that cooperative interactions are affected by ocean warming and acidification reveals new neurobiological mechanisms behind behavioral perturbations and loss of cognitive sophistication reveals potential species interactions impact in future biogeography and addresses potential for future adaptation.
Thursday, 10 October, 2019