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Rapid Communication: Experimental Evidence that Juvenile Pelagic Jacks (Carangidae) Respond Behaviorally to DMSP


Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is produced by marine algae and released during foraging activity by zooplankton and fish. Pelagic fishes depend on patchily distributed foraging opportunities, and DMSP may be an important signaling molecule for these events. We have previously shown that the abundance of carangid jacks is positively associated with elevated DMSP levels over coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, suggesting that these fishes may use spatial and temporal variation in DMSP to locate foraging opportunities. Here, we extend this work by demonstrating that juveniles of two species of pelagic jack, crevalle jack, Caranx hippos, and bluefin trevally, C. melampygus, detect and respond to DMSP in a flow-through tank in the laboratory. Juveniles of these species showed elevated swimming activity in response to ecologically relevant concentrations of DMSP (10−9 M). These results provide further evidence that this chemical may serve as a chemosensory cue for carangid species.

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