Researchers publish rebuttal of prior study on ocean acidification effects on the behavior of coral reef fishes


A group of thirteen researchers from six countries has released a new scientific paper rejecting an earlier study claiming ocean acidification has no effects of the behavior of coral reef fishes.

Earlier this year, a paper by Clark et al. published in Nature claimed that previous experiments on the effects of elevated CO2 on reef fish behavior could not be repeated, and argued ocean acidification has no effects on the behaviors of coral reef fishes.

In a comprehensive rebuttal published in Nature, lead author Professor Philip Munday from the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University said there are fundamental methodological differences between the studies conducted in the “provocative” Clark et al. article and the earlier studies with which they made direct comparison.

“There are so many fundamental differences in what Clark et al. have done compared with the previous studies that the comparisons are invalid,” Prof Munday said.

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