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Sight or smell? Behavioural and heart rate responses in subordinate rainbow trout exposed to cues from dominant fish

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Johan Höjesjö
Michael Axelsson
Ronja Dahy
Lena Gustavsson
Jörgen I Johnsson
Publicerad i Peerj
Volym 3
Sidor Article nr. e1169
ISSN 2167-8359
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap
Sidor Article nr. e1169
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1169
Ämnesord Salmonids, Physiology, Heart rate, Behavioural, Dominance, Communication, juvenile atlantic salmon, chemical cues, body-size, individual, recognition, visual information, fighting behavior, predation risk, multiple cues, communication, evolution, caprona mdc,
Ämneskategorier Biologiska vetenskaper

Sammanfattning

Many animals, including fish, can utilize both vision and the chemical senses in intra-specific communication. However, the relative influence of these sensory modalities on behavioral and physiological responses in social interactions is not well understood. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the relative effects of visual and chemical stimuli from dominant individuals on the behavioral and physiological responses of subordinate rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). External electrodes were used to detect ECG signals from free-swimming fish. This method allowed the simultaneous recording of behavioral and physiological responses, and possible sex differences in these responses were also investigated. The results suggest that, in this context, visual cues are more important than chemical cues in settling the social hierarchy in rainbow trout because a combination of chemical and visual exposure generally yielded a response in focal fish that was similar to the response elicited by visual exposure alone. Both activity and physiological responses were most pronounced during the first ten seconds after exposure, with subordinate fish moving closer to the dominant, accompanied by a strong bradycardic response. Furthermore, females acted more boldly and moved closer to the dominant fish than males, but here the effect of the modes was additive, with a stronger effect of the combined visual and chemical exposure. Overall, the extra information furnished to the fish in the form of chemical cues did not change either the behavioral or the physiological response. This result suggests that visual cues are more important than chemically mediated ones for social communication and individual recognition in rainbow trout.

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