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Behavioral and physiological measures taken for the manuscript "Top-predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology"


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Behavioral and physiological measures taken for the manuscript "Top-predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology"
Date Record Created
Date Record Modified
Date Coverage
2014-12-01 to 2014-12-15
Time Period
(no information)
Geospatial Location
  • Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • 14°40´S, 145°28´E
  1. Type: brief

    This dataset contains measures of the metabolic rate and behaviour of resource prey exposed to combinations of mesopredator and top-predator cues. This experiment was carried out at Lizard Island Research station during December 2014.

  2. Type: full

    Changes in the metabolic rate (oxygen uptake) of damselfish juveniles were measured and compared among six experimental treatments crossing the presence of a mesopredator (2 levels: dottyback, goby) with a top-predator (3 levels: coral trout, thicklip wrasse, empty tank). Behavioural observations were recorded both on the damselfish juveniles and the mesopredators (dottybacks/gobies). Eight to nine replicate trials were undertaken for each treatment. - Metabolic and behavioural assessment Measures of metabolic rate (oxygen uptake; mg O2 h-1) and activity (line crosses) were estimated for each damselfish juvenile. Routine metabolic rates were estimated as the mean level of oxygen uptake in the 1 h before and after exposure to the predator cues. Rates during each closed phase were calculated using linear least-squares regression, excluding the first and last minute of each closed phase. In total, 6 measures of oxygen uptake were collected per hour and used to calculate the oxygen uptake of each prey damselfish. Activity was measured by quantifying the number of times the damselfish juvenile crossed five equidistant lines that transversally divided the respirometer chamber into six 1.8 cm-width sections. Line crosses were only assessed during the first 10 min of the pre- and post-stimulus 1 h periods selected for metabolic analysis. Pilot observations showed this sample period (10 min) was representative of the activity of the damselfish during the correspondent hour. Three behavioural attributes of the mesopredators (dottybacks/gobies) were quantified from the 10 min post-stimulus period: (a) time spent inside shelter (min); (b) time spent near the respirometer containing the prey (min); and (c) number of strikes to the respirometer. The time near the respirometer included all of the time the mesopredator was closer than one body length from the chamber, while the number of strikes considered all of the attacks in which the mesopredator hit the chamber with its mouth.

  3. Type: note

    This dataset is available as a spreadsheet in MS Excel (.xlsx) and Open Document Format (.ods)

Related Publications
  1. Palacios, Maria M., Killen, Shaun S., Nadler, Lauren E. and White, James R. (2016) Top-predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85(4). pp. 1078-1086.
    Open Access
Related Websites
  1. Coral Reef Ecology Laboratory
Related Data
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Related Services
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Technical metadata
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  1. Owned by: Miss Maria Palacios Otero , , ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (7351), School of Marine & Tropical Biology (6620)
Primary Contact
Miss Maria Palacios Otero,
  1. Prof Mark McCormick ,
  1. Lauren E. Nadler, James Cook University, Australia
  2. Shaun S. Killen, University of Glasgow, UK
  3. James R. White, James Cook University, Australia
Fields of Research
  1. 060201 - Behavioural Ecology (060201)
  2. 060603 - Animal Physiology - Systems (060603)
Socio-Economic Objective
  1. 970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences (970106)
  1. coral reef fish
  2. metabolic rate
  3. non-consumptive effects
  4. predator-prey interactions
  5. respirometry
  6. trait-mediated indirect effects
  7. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Research Activity
(no information)
Research Themes
Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
CC BY-NC: Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 AU
License - Other
(no information)
Access Rights/Conditions
Open access. If the data is not freely accessible via the link provided, please contact the nominated data manager or for assistance.
(no information)
Data Location
Online Locations
  1. Physiological_and_Behavioural data.ods (Data File, Public)
  2. Physiological_and_Behavioural data.xlsx (Data File, Public)
Stored At
(no information)
Palacios Otero, M.; Killen, S.; Nadler, L.; White, J.; McCormick, M. (2016). Behavioral and physiological measures taken for the manuscript "Top-predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology". James Cook University. [Data files]
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):