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Cleaner wrasse indirectly affect the cognitive performance of a damselfish through ectoparasite removal

Cleaner wrasse indirectly affect the cognitive performance of a damselfish through ectoparasite removal

Binning, Sandra, Roche, Dominique, Grutter, Alexandra, Colosio, Simona, Sun, Derek, Miest, Joanna Junack ORCID: 0000-0003-2534-0530 and Bshary, Redouan (2018) Cleaner wrasse indirectly affect the cognitive performance of a damselfish through ectoparasite removal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285 (1874):20172447. ISSN 0962-8452 (Print), 1471-2954 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2447)

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Abstract

Cleaning organisms play a fundamental ecological role by removing ectoparasites and infected tissue from client surfaces. We used the well-studied cleaning mutualisms involving the cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, to test how client cognition is affected by ectoparasites and whether these effects are mitigated by cleaners. Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis) collected from experimental reef patches without cleaner wrasse performed worse in a visual discrimination test than conspecifics from patches with cleaners. Endoparasite abundance also negatively influenced success in this test. Visual discrimination performance was also impaired in damselfish experimentally infected with gnathiid (Crustacea: Isopoda) ectoparasites. Neither cleaner absence nor gnathiid infection affected performance in spatial recognition or reversal learning tests. Injection with immune-stimulating lipopolysaccharide did not affect visual discrimination performance relative to saline-injected controls suggesting that cognitive impairments are not due to an innate immune response. Our results highlight the complex, indirect role of cleaning organisms in promoting the health of their clients via ectoparasite removal and emphasize the negative impact of parasites on host’s cognitive abilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: coral reef fish, Labridae, learning and memory, mutualism, pathogen infection, Pomacentridae
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Life & Sports Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 14:24
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19253

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