Santos, Carla Sousa; Gil, Fátima; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
Pereira, Ricardo; Rismondo, Stefania; Caiano, Manuel; Pedroso, Silvia S; Fonseca, Paulo J.; Amorim, Maria Clara Pessoa
Animals often vocalize during territorial challenges as acoustic signals may
indicate motivation and fighting ability and contribute to reduce aggressive
escalation. Here, we tested the function of agonistic sounds in territorial
defence in the painted goby. Pomatoschistus pictus, a small vocal marine
fish that defends nests during the breeding season. We first measured the
number of times a male approached, avoided, explored, entered and
exited two unattended nests associated with either conspecific agonistic
sounds or a control: silence or white noise. Acoustic stimuli were played
back when the male approached a nest. In a second experimental set, we
added visual stimuli, consisting of a conspecific male in a small...
Soares, Marta C.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe; Ros, Albert F. H.; Grutter, Alexandra S.; Bshary, Redouan
In humans, physical stimulation, such as massage therapy, reduces stress and has demonstrable
health benefi ts. Grooming in primates may have similar effects but it remains unclear whether
the positive effects are due to physical contact or to its social value. Here we show that physical
stimulation reduces stress in a coral reef fi sh, the surgeonfi sh Ctenochaetus striatus . These
fi sh regularly visit cleaner wrasses Labroides dimidiatus to have ectoparasites removed. The
cleanerfi sh infl uences client decisions by physically touching the surgeonfi sh with its pectoral
and pelvic fi ns, a behaviour known as tactile stimulation. We simulated this behaviour by
Oliveira, Rui Filipe; Lopes, Marco; Carneiro, Luís Alberto; Canário, Adelino V. M.
Francisco, Sara Martins; Castilho, Rita; Soares, Miguel; Congiu, Leonardo; Brito, Alberto; Vieira, Maria Natividade; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
A fragment of the mitochondrial control region
was used to assess phylogeographic patterns and historical
demography of the sand-smelt Atherina presbyter in the
North-eastern Atlantic, covering its geographical range.
A striking result is the highly marked diVerentiation
between the Canary Islands population and western European
ones. A genetic structure among European populations
of A. presbyter was revealed, with a pattern of
isolation-by-distance or a gradient eVect at a scale of
hundreds kilometres, an uncommon pattern likely related to
the biological and life-history traits of the sand-smelt. The
northern European populations present a much lower
genetic diversity when compared to southern populations,
which is consistent with a recent colonization from southern
populations. The results showed...
Francisco, Sara Martins; Faria, Cláudia Barreiros Macedo de; Lengkeek, W.; Vieira, Maria Natividade; Velasco, Eva Maria; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
The study of the phylogeography of inshore fish from West Europe is revealing diverse geographical and
demographical patterns. Some species conform to the phylogeographic patterns typical of terrestrial
organisms, with marked signatures of the last glaciation and a decline of genetic diversity to the north of the
species range. Other species, however, reveal no decline in diversity with latitude and signatures of
expansions older than the last glaciation. The shanny Lipophrys pholis is a common intertidal resident fish in
west European rocky shores. It is unable to leave the rocky stretch where it settled as a juvenile, so that
dispersal depends entirely on the planktonic larval...
Pereira, Ana Martins; Jonsson, Benony; Johannsson, Magnus; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
The recent discovery of sea lamprey wounds on
salmonids in Icelandic rivers prompted an investigation on
the origin of sea lampreys in Icelandic waters. Using a
mitochondrial DNA fragment, the origin of the lampreys
examined was assigned to the European stock and not to
the North American one.
Martins, Catarina I. M.; Galhardo, Leonor; Noble, Chris; Damsgard, Børge; Spedicato, Maria T.; Zupa, Walter; Beauchaud, Marilyn; Kulczykowska, Ewa; Massabuau, Jean-Charles; Carter, Toby; Planellas, Sonia Rey; Kristiansen, Tore
Behaviour represents a reaction to the
environment as fish perceive it and is therefore a key
element of fish welfare. This review summarises the
main findings on how behavioural changes have been
used to assess welfare in farmed fish, using both
functional and feeling-based approaches. Changes in
foraging behaviour, ventilatory activity, aggression,
individual and group swimming behaviour, stereotypic
and abnormal behaviour have been linked with
acute and chronic stressors in aquaculture and can
therefore be regarded as likely indicators of poor
welfare. On the contrary, measurements of exploratory
behaviour, feed anticipatory activity and rewardrelated
operant behaviour are beginning to be considered
as indicators of positive emotions and welfare in fish. Despite the lack of...
Fenberg, Phillip B.; Caselle, Jennifer E.; Claudet, Joachim; Clemence, Michaela; Gaines, Steven D.; García-Charton, Jose Antonio; Gonçalves, Emanuel João; Grorud-Colvert, Kirsten; Guidetti, Paolo; Jenkins, Stuart R.; Jones, Peter J. S.; Lester, Sarah E; McAllen, Rob; Moland, Even; Planes, Serge; Sorensen, Thomas K.
The ecologically and socio-economically important marine ecosystems of Europe are facing severe
threats from a variety of human impacts. To mitigate and potentially reverse some of these impacts, the
European Union (EU) has mandated the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
(MSFD) in order to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in EU waters by 2020. The primary
initiative for achieving GES is the implementation of coherent networks of marine protected areas
(MPAs). Marine reserves are an important type of MPA in which no extraction is allowed, but their
usefulness depends upon a number of ecological, management, and political factors. This paper
provides a synthesis of the...
Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos; Louro, Sónia; Couchinho, Miguel Nogueira; Brito, Cristina Maria
This study focuses on the whistle characteristics and
production patterns of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
truncatus) resident in the Sado Estuary, Portugal.
Recordings and observations were conducted inside
the estuary and in adjacent coastal waters using single
hydrophones between 1987 and 2000. In the groups
sampled, the mean number of whistles emitted per
minute per animal was 0.28. The acoustic characteristics
of a sample of 735 whistles were measured and
compared with data from other Tursiops populations,
showing that, in a pattern of overall similarity, the
whistles recorded in the Sado are relatively long and
the frequency range used is relatively wide. Mean
peak frequency was 9.2 kHz. About 30% of the
whistles were stereotyped,...
Augusto, Joana F.; Lopes, Patrícia Alexandra Rachinas; Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos
The resident population of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Sado Estuary, Portugal, has been declining
at least during the past three decades. A complete photographic census produced a current count of 24 animals—19 adults,
three subadults and two calves. It appears to be phylopatric and essentially closed, but given the likely importance that
exchanges with neighbouring coastal groups may play, even if rare, the most adequate term to define this dolphin should
be community and not population. Large groups with all age-classes are common in the community, possibly as a calf
and subadult protection strategy, and this may be related to the fact...
Almada, Vítor Carvalho; Francisco, Sara Martins; Rosa, Inês; Domingues, Vera dos Santos; Cabral, Henrique; Almada, Frederico; Henriques, Miguel; Robalo, Joana Isabel
This note describes a rapid and inexpensive Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism technique to discriminate
all species of Atherina (Pisces: Atherinidae) of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. This technique is
based on digestion of a fragment of the 12S ribosomal RNA (12SrRNA) gene region of mitochondrial DNA with restriction
enzymes that recognize species-specific nucleotide sites. The three currently recognized species in the area, as well as two
additional forms awaiting formal description, can be discriminated using a set of four endonucleases. We argue that this
simple and fast technique may be of great help in the identification of young stages and in ecological surveys.
Almada, Vítor Carvalho; Almada, Frederico; Francisco, Sara Martins; Castilho, Rita; Robalo, Joana Isabel
The longspined bullhead (Taurulus bubalis, Euphrasen 1786) belongs to the family Cottidae and is a rocky shore species that
inhabits the intertidal zones of the Eastern Atlantic since Iceland, southward to Portugal and also the North Sea and Baltic,
northward to the Gulf of Finland, with some occurrences in the northern Mediterranean coasts eastward to the Gulf of
Genoa. We analysed the phylogeographic patterns of this species using mitochondrial and nuclear markers in populations
throughout most of its distributional range in west Europe. We found that T. bubalis has a relatively shallow genealogy with
some differentiation between Atlantic and North Sea. Genetic diversity was homogeneous...
Salgueiro, Emílio Eduardo Guerra; Nunes, Laura; Barros, Alexandra; Maroco, João; Salgueiro, Ana Isabel; Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos
Background: Interaction programs involving dolphins and patients with various pathologies or developmental
disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment, autism, atopic dermatitis, post-traumatic stress disorder,
depression) have stimulated interest in their beneficial effects and therapeutic potential. However, the true effects
observed in different clinical and psycho-educational setups are still controversial.
Results: An evaluation protocol consisting of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Psychoeducational
Profile-Revised (PEP-R), Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), Theory of Mind Tasks (ToM Tasks) and a
custom-made Interaction Evaluation Grid (IEG) to evaluate behavioural complexity during in-pool interactions
was applied to 10 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The ATEC, ToM Tasks and CARS results