Krause, Rachel J. and Grant, James W.A. and McLaughlin, J. Daniel and Marcogliese, David J.
Do infections with parasites and exposure to pollution affect susceptibility to predation in johnny darters (Etheostoma nigrum)?
Canadian Journal of Zoology, 88
- Accepted Version
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z10-089
Johnny darters (Etheostoma nigrum Rafinesque, 1820) were collected from five localities in the St. Lawrence River in southwestern Quebec to test the effects of natural parasite infections and exposure in situ to pollution on their antipredator behaviour. Three measures of antipredator behaviour were made: (1) capture time (i.e., the time taken to catch individual fish) was used as a proxy for the ability to evade predation, (2) capture order was the order in which fish kept in a single tank were taken from the tank, and (3) flight initiation distance was the distance at which the fish moved when approached by a model predator. Only capture time showed a significant correlation with parasitism or pollution status. A nonparametric permutational multivariate ANOVA showed that capture time was significantly correlated with capture location and the abundance of the brain-encysting trematode Ornithodiplostomum Dubois, 1936. Infection with Ornithodiplostomum sp. may have led to an increase in activity, which would be maladaptive for this cryptic, benthic fish under natural predation conditions. Pollution may have an indirect effect on predator susceptibility in johnny darters, by reducing the abundance of a behaviour-modifying parasite.
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