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Remy F.,MARE Center | Collard F.,MARE Center | Collard F.,Functional and Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory | Gilbert B.,University of Liège | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Dead leaves of the Neptune grass, Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, in the Mediterranean coastal zone, are colonized by an abundant detritivorous invertebrate community that is heavily predated by fishes. This community was sampled in August 2011, November 2011, and March 2012 at two different sites in the Calvi Bay (Corsica). Ingested artificial fibers (AFs) of various sizes and colors were found in 27.6% of the digestive tracts of the nine dominant species regardless of their trophic level or taxon. No seasonal, spatial, size, or species-specific significant differences were revealed; suggesting that invertebrates ingest AFs at constant rates. Results showed that, in the gut contents of invertebrates, varying by trophic level, and across trophic levels, the overall ingestion of AFs was low (approximately 1 fiber per organism). Raman spectroscopy revealed that the ingested AFs were composed of viscose, an artificial, cellulose-based polymer. Most of these AFs also appeared to have been colored by industrial dyes. Two dyes were identified: Direct Blue 22 and Direct Red 28. The latter is known for being carcinogenic for vertebrates, potentially causing environmental problems for the P. oceanica litter community. Techniques such as Raman spectroscopy are necessary to investigate the particles composition, instead of relying on fragment size or color to identify the particles ingested by animals. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Bertucci F.,Jean Monnet University | Bertucci F.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Bertucci F.,Functional and Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory | Attia J.,Jean Monnet University | And 5 more authors.
Animal Cognition | Year: 2013

Playback experiments have been a useful tool for studying the function of sounds and the relevance of different sound characteristics in signal recognition in many different species of vertebrates. However, successful playback experiments in sound-producing fish remain rare, and few studies have investigated the role of particular sound features in the encoding of information. In this study, we set-up an apparatus in order to test the relevance of acoustic signals in males of the cichlid Metriaclima zebra. We found that territorial males responded more to playbacks by increasing their territorial activity and approaching the loudspeaker during and after playbacks. If sounds are used to indicate the presence of a competitor, we modified two sound characteristics, that is, the pulse period and the number of pulses, in order to investigate whether the observed behavioural response was modulated by the temporal structure of sounds recorded during aggressive interactions. Modified sounds yielded little or no effect on the behavioural response they elicited in territorial males, suggesting a high tolerance for variations in pulse period and number of pulses. The biological function of sounds in M. zebra and the lack of responsiveness to our temporal modifications are discussed. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Bertucci F.,Copenhagen University | Bertucci F.,Functional and Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory | Matos R.J.,Copenhagen University | Dabelsteen T.,Copenhagen University
Animal Cognition | Year: 2014

Aggressive interactions between animals often occur in the presence of third parties. By observing aggressive signalling interactions, bystanders may eavesdrop and gain relevant information about conspecifics without the costs of interacting. On the other hand, interactants may also adjust their behaviour when an audience is present. This study aimed to test how knowledge about fighting ability of an audience affects aggressive interactions in male Siamese fighting fish. Subjects were positioned between two dyads of non-interacting males and allowed to observe both dyads shortly before the view to one of the dyads was blocked, and the dyads were allowed to interact. Subjects were subsequently exposed to an unknown opponent in the presence of either the winner or the loser of the seen or unseen interaction. The results suggest a complex role of the characteristic of an audience in the agonistic behaviours of a subject engaged in an interaction. The presence of a seen audience elicited more aggressive displays towards the opponent if the audience was a loser. This response was different in the presence of an unseen audience. Subjects then directed a higher aggressiveness against their opponent if the audience was a winner. These results also suggest a potentially more complex and interesting process allowing individuals to gain information about the quality and threat level of an unknown audience while it is interacting with a third party. The importance of information acquisition for an individual to adapt its behaviour and the role of communication networks in shaping social interactions are discussed. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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