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Response of pumpkinseed sunfish to conspecific chemical alarm cues: an interaction between ontogeny and stimulus concentration

Title:

Response of pumpkinseed sunfish to conspecific chemical alarm cues: an interaction between ontogeny and stimulus concentration

Marcus, Jason P. and Brown, Grant E. (2003) Response of pumpkinseed sunfish to conspecific chemical alarm cues: an interaction between ontogeny and stimulus concentration. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80 (10). pp. 1671-1677. ISSN 0008-4301

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z03-165

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that juvenile centrachids undergo ontogenetic shifts in their behavioural response towards conspecific and heterospecific chemical alarm cues based on threat-sensitive trade-offs between the benefits associated with predator avoidance and foraging. We conducted laboratory studies to test the hypothesis that the relative concentration of conspecific alarm cues provides relevant information, allowing individuals to maximize these trade-offs. Juvenile (<40 mm standard length) and subadult (>95 mm standard length) pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) were exposed to conspecific skin extracts at stock (undiluted) concentration or diluted 1:1 (50%), 1:3 (25%), or 1:7 (12.5%) with distilled water. Juvenile sunfish exhibited significant antipredator responses (relative to the distilled water controls) when exposed to conspecific skin extracts at a concentration as low as 25%. Juveniles exposed to 12.5% skin extract were not significantly different from the distilled water controls. Subadult sunfish exhibited significant antipredator responses only to the two highest concentrations. In response to the two lowest concentrations (25% and 12.5%), however, subadult sunfish exhibited significant foraging responses. These data demonstrate that the relative concentration of chemical alarm cues provides reliable information and allows individuals to accurately assess local predation risk and hence maximize potential trade-offs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Marcus, Jason P. and Brown, Grant E.
Journal or Publication:Canadian Journal of Zoology
Date:October 2003
Funders:
  • Concordia
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
ID Code:6728
Deposited By:DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:18 Jun 2010 14:10
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:14
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