Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University found that global warming may reduce the swimming ability of many reef fish species.
The research shows that increasing water temperatures may cause large fish to become lethargic, resting on the sea bottom instead of swimming around. Even when they do start swimming, they do so at a much slower rate.
Fish need to swim to accomplish just about every activity, from feeding to mating. If their swimming abilities are reduced, the researchers note that it will have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce.
“The loss of swimming performance and reduced ability to maintain important activities, like moving to a spawning site to reproduce, could have major implications for the future distribution and abundance of these species,” said researcher Dr. Jacob Johansen in a news release.
The research team is now looking into the ability of these fish to adapt to the rapid changes cause by global warming.
To learn more:
- Read the whole news release: Reef fish find it’s too hot to swim
- Find the study online: Increasing ocean temperatures reduce activity patterns of a large commercially important coral reef fish
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