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See detailHearing capacities and morphology of the auditory system in Serrasalmidae (Teleostei: Otophysi)
Melotte, Geoffrey ULiege; Parmentier, Eric ULiege; Michel, Christian ULiege et al

in Scientific Reports (2018)

Like all otophysan fishes, serrasalmids (piranhas and relatives) possess a Weberian apparatus that improves their hearing capacities. We compared the hearing abilities among eight species of serrasalmids ... [more ▼]

Like all otophysan fishes, serrasalmids (piranhas and relatives) possess a Weberian apparatus that improves their hearing capacities. We compared the hearing abilities among eight species of serrasalmids having different life-history traits: herbivorous vs. carnivorous and vocal vs. mute species. We also made 3D reconstructions of the auditory system to detect potential morphological variations associated with hearing ability. The hearing structures were similar in overall shape and position. All the species hear in the same frequency range and only slight differences were found in hearing thresholds. The eight species have their range of best hearing in the lower frequencies (50–900 Hz). In vocal serrasalmids, the range of best hearing covers the frequency spectrum of their sounds. However, the broad overlap in hearing thresholds among species having different life-history traits (herbivorous vs. carnivorous and vocal vs. non-vocal species) suggests that hearing ability is likely not related to the capacity to emit acoustic signals or to the diet, i.e. the ability to detect sounds is not associated with a given kind of food. The inner ear appears to be highly conservative in this group suggesting that it is shaped by phylogenetic history or by other kinds of constraints such as predator avoidance. [less ▲]

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See detail‘Posidonia meadows calling’: a ubiquitous fish sound with monitoring potential
Di Iorio, Lucia; Raick, Xavier ULiege; Parmentier, Eric ULiege et al

in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation (2018)

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See detailSound production mechanism in triggerfish (Balistidae): a synapomorphy
Raick, Xavier ULiege; Lecchini, David; Kever, Loïc ULiege et al

in Journal of Experimental Biology (2018), 221

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See detailAdductor mandibulae muscle and lower jaw morphology: an approach to determine bite strategies in piranhas and relatives (Serrasalmidae, Characiformes, Teleostei)
Huby, Alessia ULiege; Parmentier, Eric ULiege

Poster (2017, November 23)

Serrasalmidae (98 species) is a large monophyletic group of South American freshwater fishes. They have different dietary preferences ranging from the predominantly herbivorous or frugivorous pacus to the ... [more ▼]

Serrasalmidae (98 species) is a large monophyletic group of South American freshwater fishes. They have different dietary preferences ranging from the predominantly herbivorous or frugivorous pacus to the omnivorous or primarily carnivorous piranhas. Flesh-eating piranhas are supposed to have proportionally the most powerful bite forces among vertebrates but it has never been compared with those of plant, fruit and seed-eating species. Moreover, the bite strategy has never been explored in this family: is there a difference between carnivorous piranhas and herbivorous relatives? In the present study, we used the adductor mandibulae muscle and the lower jaw as models to answer this questioning through morphometric methods. We found that flesh-eating piranhas have a more developed adductor mandibulae muscle than seed-eating species which in turn have a larger jaw muscle than plant-eating species. The dorsomedial section of the jaw muscle (pars malaris) is the most developed in carnivorous species whereas it is the ventrolateral section (pars rictalis) in herbivorous species. We also distinguish two characteristic shapes of lower jaw that are related to dietary preferences. Results suggest different bite strategies: flesh-eating species possess a "scissor-like" way of feeding whereas the plant, fruit and seed-eating species show "vise-like" system. [less ▲]

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See detailSnapshot recordings provide a first description of the acoustic signatures of deeper habitats adjacent to coral reefs of Moorea
Bertucci, Frédéric; Parmentier, Eric ULiege; Berthe, Cécile et al

in PeerJ (2017), 5

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See detailDevelopment and sexual dimorphism of the sonic system in three deep-sea neobythitine fishes and comparisons between upper mid and lower continental slope
Fine, Michael; Ali, Heba; Nguyen, Thanh Kim et al

in Deep-sea Research Part I (2017)

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See detailFurther insight into the iterative ecological radiation of damselfishes (Pomacentridae)
Gajdzik, Laura ULiege; Lepoint, Gilles ULiege; Michel, Loic et al

Conference (2017, October 05)

The evolutionary history of Pomacentridae (damselfishes) is a rare example of the occurrence of an iterative ecological radiation in the ocean. Damselfishes have experienced many repeated convergences ... [more ▼]

The evolutionary history of Pomacentridae (damselfishes) is a rare example of the occurrence of an iterative ecological radiation in the ocean. Damselfishes have experienced many repeated convergences wherein subclades radiated across similar trophic strategies (i.e. pelagic foragers, benthic feeders, and an intermediate group) and similar morphologies. The presence of evolutionary convergences in damselfishes was recently highlighted by the combination of ecological and morphological data, and the use of phylogenetic comparative methods. Nevertheless, many other aspects of these replicated sets of lineages remain unexplored. For example, little is known about the functional diversity of assemblages including convergent lineages that emerged from iterative processes of ecological radiation, or which of the niche-related processes and phylogenetic conservatism are the major factors shaping these assemblages. Here, we conducted a quantitative comparison of these processes in damselfish assemblages that belong to three distinct Indo-Pacific coral reefs differing in taxonomic composition, morphology and degree of human disturbance. Using various metrics, we compared the functional diversity (based on a dataset of eight functional traits) and the isotopic diversity (a proxy of trophic diversity) among assemblages, grasping many aspects of the eco-functional diversity of Pomacentridae. We also tested whether these eco-functional traits displayed some evolutionary conservatism. Our results demonstrate that the eco-functional diversity of damselfishes follows similar patterns among Indo-Pacific coral reefs. The trophic space remains equivalent despite gradient in species richness, whereas the number of functional entities occupied by taxa dictates the size of the functional space. In each assemblage, eco-functional niches are highly differentiated and evenly distributed in spaces of similar size. The inconsistent phylogenetic structure of eco-functional traits suggests that the similarity in the diversity of damselfish assemblages is mainly driven by niche-based processes and not by phylogenetic relatedness. We suggest that a broader application of our approach will help to uncover the mechanisms of reef fish community assembly over space and time. [less ▲]

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See detailSound-production mechanism in Pomatoschistus pictus
Parmentier, Eric ULiege; Petrinisec, Maud; Fonseca, Paulo et al

in The Journal of Experimental Biology (2017), 220

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See detailUnderwater world: the end of the myth
Parmentier, Eric ULiege

Conference (2017, October)

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See detailAcoustic space sharing in the hullabaloo of a coral reef in Mooreas Island, French Polynesia
Bertucci, Frédéric; Maratrat, Katy; Parmentier, Eric ULiege et al

Conference (2017, October)

The more vocal species in a community, the more complex the acoustic environment, and signals produced by marine organisms in order to communicate may interfere. Since acoustic space is a limited resource ... [more ▼]

The more vocal species in a community, the more complex the acoustic environment, and signals produced by marine organisms in order to communicate may interfere. Since acoustic space is a limited resource to be shared, selection may have favored a partitioning of the available acoustic windows both at the temporal and spectral levels. This has already been reported in insects, frogs, birds or mammals but rarely in fishes. Our study aimed to investigate sounds produced within an ichthyological community in the North Coast of Moorea Island (French Polynesia). By using passive acoustic monitoring technics, we identified a total of 38 different types of sounds, some dominating during day-time while others dominated during night-time. Over 24h, we also observed a succession of optimal sound production periods for each sound type which suggests a finer level of temporal partitioning of fish vocalizations. Finally, we further showed that acoustic features of co-occurring sound types significantly differed allowing partitioning at the spectral level too. These results demonstrate the existence of acoustic partitioning and interference avoidance in a coral reef fish community and highlight how acoustic communication might be optimized in such a biologically rich and dense environment as coral reefs. [less ▲]

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See detailConsistency of spatiotemporal sound features supports the use of passive acoustics for long-term monitoring
Parmentier, Eric ULiege; Di Iorio, Lucia; Picciulin, Marta et al

in Animal Conservation (2017)

Many studies stress the usefulness of fish calls as effective indicators of distinct species occurrence. However, most of these studies have been undertaken in a given area and during restricted periods ... [more ▼]

Many studies stress the usefulness of fish calls as effective indicators of distinct species occurrence. However, most of these studies have been undertaken in a given area and during restricted periods of time. There is a need to show passive acoustic monitoring is a reliable method to study vocal species over space and time. This study aims to use passive acoustic methods to follow the brown meagre Sciaena umbra at relevant temporal and spatial scales. Specimens of S. umbra were recorded in both aquarium and in the field. In situ recordings were made at two regions (Corsica and Sardinia) during four summers (2008–2012–2013–2015). Temporal and frequency parameters of the fish calls were collected by different teams and compared to test the ability to unequivocally identify the fish sound. The comparison between our data and the bibliography highlights the capability to identify S. umbra during a period of 17 years in different Mediterranean regions, clearly supporting the usefulness of acoustic monitoring to discover and protect aggregation sites of this endangered species. The sound producing mechanism in S. umbra consists of high-speed sonic muscles surrounding dorsally the posterior end of the swim bladder, which can explain the low acoustic variability that helps in the species identification. Similar mechanisms are found in other Sciaenidae, suggesting that a similar conclusion can be drawn for many other adult sciaenids that could be used as sentinel species. This study should be of high interest to policymakers and scientists because it shows passive acoustic can be confidently used in resource management. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolution and diversity of ram-suction feeding in damselfishes (Pomacentridae)
Olivier, Damien ULiege; Gajdzik, Laura ULiege; Parmentier, Eric ULiege et al

in Organisms Diversity & Evolution (2017), 17

The cerato-mandibular (c-md) ligament is a synapomorphy within Pomacentridae that creates a tight link between the lower jaws and the hyoid bars. However, this morphological trait has been secondarily ... [more ▼]

The cerato-mandibular (c-md) ligament is a synapomorphy within Pomacentridae that creates a tight link between the lower jaws and the hyoid bars. However, this morphological trait has been secondarily lost in multiple lineages during evolution. A previous study revealed that the loss of this trait acted as a release of evolutionary constraints, leading to a cascade of morphological changes such elongated buccal jaws and a slender body. Ecomorphological interpretations suggested the loss of the c-md ligament has ultimately led to a new adaptive peak in zooplanktivory through an optimization of the ram feeding mode associated with a specialization in pelagic feeding. Here, we tested these hypotheses by comparing functional and diet diversity between damselfish species with and without the c-md ligament. Although species lacking the c-md ligament presented a conserved kinematic pattern resulting from high ram and low suction performances, our results did not support an optimization of the ram feeding mode. Indeed, some species with the c-md ligament showed the same or exceeded the ram performance of species without the c-md ligament. The species with the c-md ligament had a more diverse kinematic pattern exploring the entire ram-suction functional range in damselfishes. Finally, our results did not show any diet variations associated with the loss of the c-md ligament. Our study furthers the understanding of how a morphological trait has shaped, by its presence or absence, the ecomorpho-functional diversification of Pomacentridae. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative Feeding Ecology of Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) at Toliara Reef, Madagascar
Frederich, Bruno ULiege; Michel, Loïc ULiege; Zaeytydt, Esther et al

in Zoological Studies (2017), 56(10), 1-14

Despite their importance in coral reef ecosystem function and trophodynamics, the trophic ecology of nocturnal fishes (e.g. Apogonidae, Holocentridae, Pempheridae) is by far less studied than diurnal ones ... [more ▼]

Despite their importance in coral reef ecosystem function and trophodynamics, the trophic ecology of nocturnal fishes (e.g. Apogonidae, Holocentridae, Pempheridae) is by far less studied than diurnal ones. The Apogonidae (cardinalfishes) include mostly carnivorous species and evidence of trophic niche partitioning among sympatric cardinalfishes is still limited. The present study combines stomach contents and stable isotope analyses to investigate the feeding ecology of an assemblage of eight cardinalfishes from the Great Reef of Toliara (SW Madagascar). δ13C and δ15N of fishes ranged between -17.49‰ and -10.03‰ and between 6.28‰ and 10.74‰, respectively. Both stomach contents and stable isotopes showed that they feed on planktonic and benthic animal prey in various proportions. Previous studies were able to group apogonids in different trophic categories but such a discrimination is not obvious here. Large intra-specific variation in the stomach contents and temporal variation in the relative contribution of prey to diet support that all apogonids should be considered as generalist, carnivorous fishes. However the exploration of the isotopic space revealed a clear segregation of isotopic niches among species, suggesting a high level of resource partitioning within the assemblage. According to low inter-specific variation in stomach content compositions, we argue that the differences in isotopic niches could be driven by variation in foraging locations (i.e. microhabitat segregation) and physiology among species. Our temporal datasets demonstrate that the trophic niche partitioning among cardinalfishes and the breadth of their isotopic niches are dynamic and change across time. Factors driving this temporal variation need to be investigated in further studies. [less ▲]

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See detailEcomorphology of the axial skeleton in Odontocetes and Mysticetes
Gillet, Amandine ULiege; Parmentier, Eric ULiege

Poster (2017, May)

Ecomorphology concerns the study of the relationships between functional design and the environmental constraints acting on organisms. It aims to understand how the morphological variations among species ... [more ▼]

Ecomorphology concerns the study of the relationships between functional design and the environmental constraints acting on organisms. It aims to understand how the morphological variations among species can be related to environmental factors and impact fitness. Having a large diversity both in their morphology and ecology, the cetacean taxa appears to be the ideal taxa to tackle the relationships between the locomotor system and way of life. Different studies have already showed that the number and shape of vertebrae in different cetaceans can reflect the stiffness of the body and consequently can impact their swimming mode. The aim of this study is to establish relationships between characteristics of the vertebral column of different cetaceans and their ecology. Meristic and morphometric data were collected on the vertebrae (centrum lengths, heights and widths, neural spine heights and transverse processes lengths) of species of odontocetes housed in different Natural History Museums in the world (AM-ULg, RBINS, MNHN, SMNS, NRM, Queensland, PEM, Iziko). Preliminary results show clear morphological variations between species at the level of the number and sizes of vertebrae. There is a clear relationship between body size and number of vertebrae except in Delphinidae. This family has an important higher vertebral count. These differences should be related to different swimming modes and reflect the different ecological behaviours of the studied cetaceans. [less ▲]

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See detailMorphology of the filtration apparatus of three planktivorous fishes and relation with ingested anthropogenic particles
Collard, France ULiege; Gilbert, Bernard ULiege; Eppe, Gauthier ULiege et al

in Marine Pollution Bulletin (2017), 116(1-2), 182-191

Anthropogenic particles (APs), including microplastics, are ingested by a wide variety of marine organisms. Exposure of Clupeiformes (e.g. herrings, anchovies, sardines) is poorly studied despite their ... [more ▼]

Anthropogenic particles (APs), including microplastics, are ingested by a wide variety of marine organisms. Exposure of Clupeiformes (e.g. herrings, anchovies, sardines) is poorly studied despite their economic and ecological importance. This study aims to describe the morphology of the filtration apparatus of three wild-caught Clupeiformes (Sardina pilchardus, Clupea harengus and Engraulis encrasicolus) and to relate the results to ingested APs. Consequently, the species with the more efficient filtration apparatus will be more likely to ingest APs. We hypothesized that sardines were the most exposed species. The filtration area and particle retention threshold were determined in the three species, with sardines displaying the highest filtration area and the closest gill rakers. Sardines ingested more fibers and smaller fragments, confirming that it is the most efficient filtering species. These two results lead to the conclusion that, among the three studied, the sardine is the species most exposed to APs. [less ▲]

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See detailSTARECAPMED, des indices pour La Méditerranée
Leduc, Michèle; Abadie, Arnaud; Donnay, Annick et al

in Cartographie des habitats marins benthiques : de l’acquisition à la restitution (2017)

Le projet STARECAPMED (STAtion of Reference and rEsearch on Change of local and global Anthropogenic Pressures on Mediterranean Ecosystems Drifts) a pour objectif (i) d’améliorer la compréhension du ... [more ▼]

Le projet STARECAPMED (STAtion of Reference and rEsearch on Change of local and global Anthropogenic Pressures on Mediterranean Ecosystems Drifts) a pour objectif (i) d’améliorer la compréhension du fonctionnement des différents écosystèmes marins côtiers présents en Méditerranée et (ii) de décrire l’influence des activités humaines sur les processus qui gouvernent ce fonctionnement. La baie de Calvi, par sa situation exceptionnelle, est un site de référence de la Directive Européenne Cadre sur l’Eau (DCE), du monitoring de l’eutrophisation et de la contamination par les éléments traces. La Station de recherches océanographiques STARESO, implantée dans la baie depuis près de 50 ans, possède un accès unique à la mer et de nombreuses facilités logistiques. Elle a développé au fil du temps une expertise scientifique reposant notamment sur l’acquisition de longues séries temporelles de données environnementales. Ensemble, Baie et Station s’intègrent en un site atelier dédié à l’évaluation de l’état de santé des écosystèmes marins côtiers de Méditerranée Nord-Occidentale. En particulier, différents indices et indicateurs y sont développés en collaboration avec de nombreux laboratoires partenaires. Ainsi, nous avons développé, d’une part, une version non destructive de l’indice PREI (Posidonia Rapid Easy Index) d’évaluation de la qualité des eaux côtières reposant sur le suivi des herbiers à Posidonia oceanica, et d’autre part, deux indices d’évaluation de l’impact des ancrages, puis testé   l’indice EBQI (Ecosystem Based Quality Index), une approche sur la diversité écologique. Les indices TEPI (Trace Element Pollution Index) et TESVI (Trace Element Spatial Variation Index) permettent d’évaluer la contamination par les éléments traces. Le BeMSI (BEnthic Methodology Simplification) est un nouvel indicateur de la qualité du milieu défini à partir de la composition des peuplements macrobenthiques des substrats meubles et plus généralement, l’indice LIMA traduit l’attrait paysager et la richesse patrimoniale du benthos méditerranéen entre 0 et –40 m. Quant à l’indice ICAR (Indice paysager CAulerpa Racemosa), il permet d’évaluer les niveaux de colonisation par l’algue invasive Caulerpa cylindracea. Enfin, une approche innovante reposant sur l’enregistrement des sons permet d’évaluer la qualité du milieu à partir d’un paysage acoustique sous-marin. En conclusion, le développement et l’application combinée de ces différents indices et indicateurs développés dans le cadre du programme pluridisciplinaire STARECAPMED fournissent une estimation globale des états du milieu côtier méditerranéen à différents niveaux d’organisation, depuis l’espèce jusqu’à l’écosystème. De plus, leur mise en œuvre dans ce même site atelier privilégié permet de les confronter, de les ajuster et de les intercalibrer pour à terme les proposer aux gestionnaires du milieu côtier. [less ▲]

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See detailInterspecific variation of warning calls in piranhas: a comparative analysis
Melotte, Geoffrey ULiege; Vigouroux, Régis; Michel, Christian ULiege et al

Conference (2016, December 17)

Fish sounds are known to be species-specific, possessing unique temporal and spectral features. We have recorded and compared sounds in eight piranha species to evaluate the potential role of acoustic ... [more ▼]

Fish sounds are known to be species-specific, possessing unique temporal and spectral features. We have recorded and compared sounds in eight piranha species to evaluate the potential role of acoustic communication as a driving force in clade diversification. All piranha species showed the same kind of sound-producing mechanism: sonic muscles originate on vertebrae and attach to a tendon surrounding the bladder ventrally. Contractions of the sound-producing muscles force swimbladder vibration and dictate the fundamental frequency. It results the calling features of the eight piranha species logically share many common characteristics. In all the species, the calls are harmonic sounds composed of multiple continuous cycles. However, the sounds of Serrasalmus elongatus (higher number of cycles and high fundamental frequency) and S. manueli (long cycle periods and low fundamental frequency) are clearly distinguishable from the other species. The sonic mechanism being largely conserved throughout piranha evolution, acoustic communication can hardly be considered as the main driving force in the diversification process. However, sounds of some species are clearly distinguishable despite the short space for variations supporting the need for specific communication. Behavioural studies are needed to clearly understand the eventual role of the calls during spawning events. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationship between jaw morphology, bite performance and diet in Serrasalmidae (Characiformes, Teleostei)
Huby, Alessia ULiege; Lowie, Aurélien; Herrel, Anthony et al

Conference (2016, December 16)

Serrasalmidae are mainly known for “piranhas” and their negative reputation of ferocious predatory fishes. A recent study demonstrated that the piranha $Serrasalmus rhombeus£ had an extreme bite force ... [more ▼]

Serrasalmidae are mainly known for “piranhas” and their negative reputation of ferocious predatory fishes. A recent study demonstrated that the piranha $Serrasalmus rhombeus£ had an extreme bite force that is even proportionally greater than that of the white shark. However, these sharp teeth fishes represent only a minority of Serrasalmidae. Other serrasalmid species (pacus and myleus) feed on plants, fruits or seeds and their bite force and feeding capacities are still uninvestigated. In the present research, in vivo bite forces were measured and compared according to jaw morphology in ten species of Serrasalmidae including six herbivorous and four carnivorous species. The Bite Force Quotient (BFQ) was calculated for each individual to compare the jaw strength across species. The results of the analysis showed that species feeding on fins and fish flesh have a significant greater bite force than species feeding on plants, fruits or seeds. This difference can be explained by the larger adductor mandibulae muscle in carnivorous species which have comparatively longer and higher skull than herbivorous species. In addition, there is a significant difference in the lower jaw morphology between piranhas and pacus and relatives. The piranha species have longer lower jaws than pacus and myleus species which have shorter and higher lower jaws. This study shows that the Serrasalmidae family regroups remarkable biters whose bite performance is mostly related to diet. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroplastics Contamination in Three Planktivorous and Commercial Fish Species
Collard, France ULiege; Das, Krishna ULiege; Gilbert, Bernard ULiege et al

in Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems - From the Coastline to the Open Sea (2016, December 02)

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