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Meta-analysis reveals an extreme "decline effect" in the impacts of ocean acidification on fish behavior

Clements, Jeff and Sundin, Josefin and Clark, Timothy and Jutfelt, Fredrik (2022). Meta-analysis reveals an extreme "decline effect" in the impacts of ocean acidification on fish behavior. PLoS Biology. 20 :2 , e3001511
[Research article]

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Abstract

Ocean acidification-decreasing oceanic pH resulting from the uptake of excess atmospheric CO2-has the potential to affect marine life in the future. Among the possible consequences, a series of studies on coral reef fish suggested that the direct effects of acidification on fish behavior may be extreme and have broad ecological ramifications. Recent studies documenting a lack of effect of experimental ocean acidification on fish behavior, however, call this prediction into question. Indeed, the phenomenon of decreasing effect sizes over time is not uncommon and is typically referred to as the "decline effect." Here, we explore the consistency and robustness of scientific evidence over the past decade regarding direct effects of ocean acidification on fish behavior. Using a systematic review and meta-analysis of 91 studies empirically testing effects of ocean acidification on fish behavior, we provide quantitative evidence that the research to date on this topic is characterized by a decline effect, where large effects in initial studies have all but disappeared in subsequent studies over a decade. The decline effect in this field cannot be explained by 3 likely biological explanations, including increasing proportions of studies examining (1) cold-water species; (2) nonolfactory-associated behaviors; and (3) nonlarval life stages. Furthermore, the vast majority of studies with large effect sizes in this field tend to be characterized by low sample sizes, yet are published in high-impact journals and have a disproportionate influence on the field in terms of citations. We contend that ocean acidification has a negligible direct impact on fish behavior, and we advocate for improved approaches to minimize the potential for a decline effect in future avenues of research.

Authors/Creators:Clements, Jeff and Sundin, Josefin and Clark, Timothy and Jutfelt, Fredrik
Title:Meta-analysis reveals an extreme "decline effect" in the impacts of ocean acidification on fish behavior
Series Name/Journal:PLoS Biology
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:20
Number:2
Article number:e3001511
Number of Pages:20
Publisher:PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
ISSN:1544-9173
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115968
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115968
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1371/journal.pbio.3001511
Web of Science (WoS)000751428800002
ID Code:27160
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:21 Feb 2022 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:21 Feb 2022 13:31

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