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Are vertical migrations driven by circadian behaviour? Decoupling of activity and depth use in a large riverine elasmobranch, the freshwater sawfish (Pristis pristis)

Gleiss, Adrian C, Morgan, David L, Whitty, Jeff M, Keleher, James J, Fossette, Sabrina and Hays, Graeme C 2017, Are vertical migrations driven by circadian behaviour? Decoupling of activity and depth use in a large riverine elasmobranch, the freshwater sawfish (Pristis pristis), Hydrobiologia, vol. 787, no. 1, pp. 181-191, doi: 10.1007/s10750-016-2957-6.

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Title Are vertical migrations driven by circadian behaviour? Decoupling of activity and depth use in a large riverine elasmobranch, the freshwater sawfish (Pristis pristis)
Author(s) Gleiss, Adrian C
Morgan, David L
Whitty, Jeff M
Keleher, James J
Fossette, Sabrina
Hays, Graeme CORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Hydrobiologia
Volume number 787
Issue number 1
Start page 181
End page 191
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer Verlag
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2017-02
ISSN 0018-8158
1573-5117
Keyword(s) Diel vertical migration
Accelerometer
Behavioural thermoregulation
Fish
Sawfish
Isolume
Crepuscular
Summary Circadian rhythms occur widely amongst living organisms, often in response to diel changes in environmental conditions. In aquatic animals, circadian activity is often synchronised with diel changes in the depths individuals occupy and may be related to predator–prey interactions, where the circadian rhythm is determined by ambient light levels, or have a thermoregulatory purpose, where the circadian rhythm is governed by temperature. Here, these two hypotheses are examined using animal-attached accelerometers in juvenile freshwater sawfish occupying a riverine environment displaying seasonal changes in thermal stratification. Across seasons, diel patterns of depth use (shallow at night and deep in the day) tended to occur only in the late dry seasons when the water was stratified, whereas individuals were primarily shallow in the early dry season which featured no thermal stratification. Activity was elevated during crepuscular and nocturnal periods compared to daytime, regardless of the thermal environment. Our observation of resting at cooler depths is consistent with behavioural thermoregulation to reduce energy expenditure, whereas activity appears linked to ambient light levels and predator–prey interactions. This suggests that circadian rhythms in activity and vertical migrations are decoupled in this species and respond to independent environmental drivers.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10750-016-2957-6
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060801 Animal Behaviour
04 Earth Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090161

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