Original paper

The effects of fish kairomones and food availability on the predator avoidance behaviour of Gammarus pulex

Szokoli, Franziska; Winkelmann, Carola; Berendonk, Thomas U.; Worischka, Susanne

Fundamental and Applied Limnology Volume 186 Nr. 3 (2015), p. 249 - 258

published: May 1, 2015

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ArtNo. ESP141018603005, Price: 29.00 €

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The trade-off between predator avoidance and foraging plays an important role in the survival strategies of prey organisms. In laboratory experiments, we investigated the changes in hiding behaviour of naive Gammarus pulex (Amphipoda) in the presence of kairomones of two benthivorous fish species posing different predation risks (Gobio gobio and Barbatula barbatula), in combination with a possibly counteracting stimulus, the availability of food. Independently of the kairomone treatment, G. pulex reduced its hiding behaviour when food was available in the form of finely ground leaves. Therefore, food seems to be a stronger stimulus than the presence of predator odour. In the absence of food, naive gammarids were clearly able to distinguish between the two fish species and increased hiding in the presence of gudgeon kairomones. In their natural environment we expect this hierarchical order of stimuli to allow G. pulex to combine foraging and predator avoidance behaviour.


chemical cuesamphipodsbenthic fishhiding behaviourforaging behaviour