Breadcrumb

 
 

Fathead minnows learn to recognize predator odour when exposed to concentrations of artificial alarm pheromone below their behavioural-response threshold

Title:

Fathead minnows learn to recognize predator odour when exposed to concentrations of artificial alarm pheromone below their behavioural-response threshold

Brown, Grant E. and Adrian, James C. and Patton, Todd and Chivers, D.P. (2001) Fathead minnows learn to recognize predator odour when exposed to concentrations of artificial alarm pheromone below their behavioural-response threshold. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 79 (12). pp. 2239-2245. ISSN 0008-4301

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
167Kb

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-79-12-2239

Abstract

Hypoxanthine-3-N-oxide (H3NO) has been identified as the putative alarm pheromone of ostariophysan fishes. Previously we demonstrated a population-specific minimum behavioural-response threshold in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to a H3NO concentration of approximately 0.4 nM. Minnows may, however, perceive low concentrations of H3NO as a predation threat, even though they do not exhibit an overt behavioural response. We conducted a series of laboratory trials to test the hypothesis that minnows can detect the alarm pheromone at concentrations below the minimum behavioural-response threshold. We exposed predator-naïve fathead minnows to H3NO at concentrations ranging from 0.4 to 0.05 nM paired with the odour of a novel predator (yellow perch, Perca flavescens) or distilled water paired with perch odour. We observed significant increases in antipredator behaviour (increased shoal cohesion, movement towards the substrate, a reduction in feeding, and an increase in the occurrence of dashing and freezing behaviour) in shoals of minnows exposed to a combined cue of 0.4 nM H3NO and perch odour (compared with a distilled-water control), but not by shoals exposed to lower concentrations of H3NO paired with perch odour or those exposed to distilled water paired with perch odour. When exposed to perch odour alone 4 days later, minnows initially conditioned to H3NO at concentrations of 0.4–0.1 nM exhibited significant increases in antipredator behaviour. These data demonstrate that minnows attend to the alarm pheromone at concentrations below the minimum behavioural-response threshold and are able to acquire the ability to recognize a novel predator even though they do not exhibit an overt behavioural response.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Brown, Grant E. and Adrian, James C. and Patton, Todd and Chivers, D.P.
Journal or Publication:Canadian Journal of Zoology
Date:December 2001
Funders:
  • Union College
  • Concordia University
ID Code:6730
Deposited By:DANIELLE DENNIE
Deposited On:18 Jun 2010 14:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 18:14
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...

Concordia University - Footer