August 29, 2013

Wake Up and Smell The Reef: Fish larvae sniff their way back home

New study uses o-DISC to show that larvae of cardinalfish, damselfish use olfactory cues as triggers

How tiny fish larvae travel away from the reef, then know how to navigate their way back home is a scientific mystery.

A new study led by Dr. Claire Paris, Professor at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science conducted at One Tree Island in the Great Barrier Reef is helping to shed some light on the topic. Working with colleagues from UM, Boston University, Laboratoire Oceanographique de Villefranche, James Cook University and Oldenburg University, the team has established that reef fish larvae can smell the presence of coral reefs from as far as several kilometers offshore, and use this odor to find home.