Trading off safety against food : state dependent habitat choice and foraging in crucian carp
- Department of Biology
The influence of hunger level and predation risk on habitat choice and foraging in crucian carp, Carassius carassius, were studied in a laboratory experiment. Experiments were carried out in aquaria with or without a predator (pike, Esox lucius). Habitat use and foraging activity of three-fish foraging groups of either fed or hungry crucian carp were studied. Fish were allowed to choose between an open (risky) habitat with Tubifex worms and a habitat with dense vegetation (safe) without food. Habitat use was significantly affected by both risk of predation and hunger level. Crucian carp spent less time in the open habitat when there was a predator present and they also spent less time there when fed than when hungry. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between risk of predation and hunger level, indicating a state-dependent trade-off between food acquisition and predator avoidance.
- Crucian carp
- ISSN: 0029-8549