Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae

Igal Berenshtein, Moshe Kiflawi, Nadav Shashar, Uri Wieler, Haim Agiv, Claire B Paris-Limouzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization) and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients). We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC), which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23), but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze), which explained 38% of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere88468
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2014

Fingerprint

Coral Reefs
Photophobia
polarized light
Photosensitivity
Reefs
Light polarization
Fish
coral reefs
Larva
Fishes
Sun
Light
larvae
Cues
Solar System
fish
reefs
Navigation
Bearings (structural)
Aptitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae. / Berenshtein, Igal; Kiflawi, Moshe; Shashar, Nadav; Wieler, Uri; Agiv, Haim; Paris-Limouzy, Claire B.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 2, e88468, 07.02.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Berenshtein, Igal ; Kiflawi, Moshe ; Shashar, Nadav ; Wieler, Uri ; Agiv, Haim ; Paris-Limouzy, Claire B. / Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 2.
@article{5c252346981448729af31fa94820a077,
title = "Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae",
abstract = "Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization) and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients). We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC), which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23), but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze), which explained 38{\%} of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.",
author = "Igal Berenshtein and Moshe Kiflawi and Nadav Shashar and Uri Wieler and Haim Agiv and Paris-Limouzy, {Claire B}",
year = "2014",
month = "2",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0088468",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Polarized light sensitivity and orientation in coral reef fish post-larvae

AU - Berenshtein, Igal

AU - Kiflawi, Moshe

AU - Shashar, Nadav

AU - Wieler, Uri

AU - Agiv, Haim

AU - Paris-Limouzy, Claire B

PY - 2014/2/7

Y1 - 2014/2/7

N2 - Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization) and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients). We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC), which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23), but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze), which explained 38% of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.

AB - Recent studies of the larvae of coral-reef fishes reveal that these tiny vertebrates possess remarkable swimming capabilities, as well as the ability to orient to olfactory, auditory, and visual cues. While navigation according to reef-generated chemicals and sounds can significantly affect dispersal, the effect is limited to the vicinity of the reef. Effective long-distance navigation requires at least one other capacity-the ability to maintain a bearing using, for example, a sun compass. Directional information in the sun's position can take the form of polarized-light related cues (i.e., e-vector orientation and percent polarization) and/or non-polarized-light related cues (i.e., the direct image of the sun, and the brightness and spectral gradients). We examined the response to both types of cues using commercially-reared post-larvae of the spine-cheeked anemonefish Premnas biaculeatus. Initial optomotor trials indicated that the post-larval stages are sensitive to linearly polarized light. Swimming directionality was then tested using a Drifting In-Situ Chamber (DISC), which allowed us to examine the response of the post-larvae to natural variation in light conditions and to manipulated levels of light polarization. Under natural light conditions, 28 of 29 post-larvae showed significant directional swimming (Rayleigh's test p<0.05, R = 0.74±0.23), but to no particular direction. Swimming directionality was positively affected by sky clarity (absence of clouds and haze), which explained 38% of the observed variation. Moreover, post-larvae swimming under fully polarized light exhibited a distinct behavior of tracking the polarization axis, as it rotated along with the DISC. This behavior was not observed under partially-polarized illumination. We view these findings as an indication for the use of sun-related cues, and polarized light signal in specific, by orienting coral-reef fish larvae.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84895765509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84895765509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0088468

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0088468

M3 - Article

C2 - 24516662

AN - SCOPUS:84895765509

VL - 9

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 2

M1 - e88468

ER -