Abstract [Related Publication]: Oceans of the future are predicted to be more acidic and noiser, particularly along the productive coastal fringe. This study examined the independent and combined effects of short-term exposure to elevated CO2 and boat noise on the predator–prey interaction of a pair of common coral reef fishes (Pomacentrus wardi and its predator, Pseudochromis fuscus). Successful capture of prey by predators increased from ambient control conditions with the addition of either playback of boat noise or elevated CO2 (925 µatm). The coincidence of both stressors led to lower capture rates that were similar to the controls, suggesting an interaction between CO2 levels and noise levels on predator success. The kinematics were the same for all stressor combinations and differed from the controls. The effects of CO2 or boat noise were the same suggesting that their effects were substitutive in this situation. Prey reduced their perception of threat under both stressors individually and when combined, and this coincided with reduced predator attack distances and attack speeds. The present findings of an interaction among future stressors highlights the importance of determining the combined effects of key drivers to aid in predicting community dynamics under future environmental scenarios.
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