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The effects of reduced pH on chemical alarm signalling in ostariophysan fishes

Title:

The effects of reduced pH on chemical alarm signalling in ostariophysan fishes

Brown, Grant E. and Adrian, James C. and Lewis, Michael G. and Tower, Jon M. (2002) The effects of reduced pH on chemical alarm signalling in ostariophysan fishes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 59 (8). pp. 1331-1338. ISSN 0706-652X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/f02-104

Abstract

Under laboratory conditions, we examined the effects of acute exposure to weakly acidic conditions (pH 6.0) on the ability of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and finescale dace (Phoxinus neogaeus) to detect and respond to conspecific and artificial alarm pheromones. Initially, minnows and dace exhibited normal antipredator responses when exposed to conspecific alarm pheromones under normal (pH 8.0) conditions. When retested at pH 6.0, we observed no significant antipredator response. However, when returned to normal pH conditions, both exhibited normal antipredator responses. Minnows exposed to the putative ostariophysan alarm pheromone (hypoxanthine-3-N-oxide) exhibited a similar trend in behavioural response. Finally, we manipulated the pH of minnow skin extract and hypoxanthine-3-N-oxide to determine the chemical mechanism responsible for this observed loss of response. Minnows exhibited significant antipredator responses to natural and artificial alarm pheromones at normal pH conditions, but did not respond to either stimulus once they had been buffered to pH 6.0 or acidified and rebuffered to pH 7.5. These data suggest that the ability of minnows and dace to detect and respond to alarm pheromones is impaired under weakly acidic conditions and that this loss of response is due to a nonreversible covalent change to the alarm pheromone molecule itself.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Brown, Grant E. and Adrian, James C. and Lewis, Michael G. and Tower, Jon M.
Journal or Publication:Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Date:August 2002
Funders:
  • Concordia University
  • Union College
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
  • National Science Foundation
ID Code:6729
Deposited By:DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:18 Jun 2010 14:18
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:15
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