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Review
, 95 (1), 73-91

Magnetoreception in Fish

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Review

Magnetoreception in Fish

Krzysztof Formicki et al. J Fish Biol.

Abstract

Magnetoreception is the ability of organisms to perceive magnetic fields in the surrounding environment and changes in its properties such as field direction, intensity and gradient, where the effect on organisms can manifest as an array of reactions. As the magnetic sense is found in many taxa, both evolutionarily young and old, it can be assumed that magnetoreception came into existence as one of the first sensory systems. Many studies on the effect of magnetic fields on fishes have considered both fishes that migrate for long distances and those that are more or less sedentary. Research has focused on tracing the perception of the geomagnetic field by fishes and understanding magnetic fields that are smaller and larger than the ambient Earth's geomagnetic field. The question of the effect of magnetic fields of values higher than the Earth's is gaining importance with the increasing effect of anthropogenic magnetic and electromagnetic fields in aquatic ecosystems. This review draws together the results of studies on the effect and reception of natural and human-generated magnetic fields on fishes at various stages of ontogeny, chronologically arranged from gametes, through embryonic development, embryonic and larval motor function, directional reactions of embryos and larvae, orientation of fishes, to the mechanisms of magnetic field reception. The present state of knowledge indicates a common nature of effect on various ontogenetic stages of fishes. However, understanding of the mechanisms of magnetic sense in fishes and its relevance for ecological outcomes highlights that further progress requires more detailed research.

Keywords: fish; magnetic field; magnetic sense; ontogenetic stages.

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