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Production of chemical alarm cues in convict cichlids: the effects of diet, body condition and ontogeny

Title:

Production of chemical alarm cues in convict cichlids: the effects of diet, body condition and ontogeny

Brown, Grant E. and Foam, P.E. and Cowell, H.E. and Guevara Fiore, P. and Chivers, D.P. (2004) Production of chemical alarm cues in convict cichlids: the effects of diet, body condition and ontogeny. Annales Zoologici Fennici , 41 (3). pp. 487-499. ISSN 1797-2450

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Abstract

While much is known regarding the role of chemical alarm cues in the mediation of predator–prey dynamics within aquatic ecosystems, little is known regarding the production of these critically important information sources. In a series of laboratory experiments, we tested the possible effects of diet, body condition and ontogeny on the production of chemical alarm cues in juvenile convict cichlids (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus, Cichlidae, Acanthopterygii). Juvenile cichlids were fed one of two diets, tubifex worms (Tubifex spp.) or brine shrimp (Artemia spp.). Shrimp fed cichlids grew longer and heavier and were in better condition than were tubifex fed cichlids. In Experiment 1, cichlids exhibited a stronger antipredator response to conspecific skin extracts from donors fed shrimp versus tubifex, regardless of test cichlid diet. In Experiment 2, juvenile cichlids were exposed to the skin extracts of high versus low condition donors fed either tubifex or shrimp diets. Cichlids exhibited a significantly stronger antipredator response to skin extracts of high condition donors, regardless of donor diet. Finally, in Experiment 3, juvenile cichlids were exposed to skin extracts of similar sized juvenile conspecifics, adult conspecifics, swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) or a distilled water control. We found no evidence of an ontogenetic change in the production of alarm cues as cichlids exhibited similar intensity antipredator responses when exposed to juvenile and adult conspecific alarm cues. Taken together, these data suggest that individual diet may influence body condition with the consequence of influencing chemical alarm cue production in juvenile cichlids.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Brown, Grant E. and Foam, P.E. and Cowell, H.E. and Guevara Fiore, P. and Chivers, D.P.
Journal or Publication:Annales Zoologici Fennici
Date:2004
Funders:
  • Concordia
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
ID Code:6727
Deposited By:DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:18 Jun 2010 13:33
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:14
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