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Can species-specific prey responses to chemical cues explain prey susceptibility to predation?

Author:
  • Marek Šmejkal
  • Daniel Ricard
  • Zuzana Sajdlová
  • Martin Čech
  • Lukáš Vejřík
  • Petr Blabolil
  • Ivana Vejříková
  • Marie Prchalová
  • Mojmír Vašek
  • Allan T. Souza
  • Christer Brönmark
  • Jiří Peterka
Publishing year: 2018-05
Language: English
Pages: 4544-4551
Publication/Series: Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 8
Issue: 9
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

The perception of danger represents an essential ability of prey for gaining an informational advantage over their natural enemies. Especially in complex environments or at night, animals strongly rely on chemoreception to avoid predators. The ability to recognize danger by chemical cues and subsequent adaptive responses to predation threats should generally increase prey survival. Recent findings suggest that European catfish (Silurus glanis) introduction induce changes in fish community and we tested whether the direction of change can be attributed to differences in chemical cue perception. We tested behavioral response to chemical cues using three species of freshwater fish common in European water: rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), roach (Rutilus rutilus), and perch (Perca fluviatilis). Further, we conducted a prey selectivity experiment to evaluate the prey preferences of the European catfish. Roach exhibited the strongest reaction to chemical cues, rudd decreased use of refuge and perch did not alter any behavior in the experiment. These findings suggest that chemical cue perception might be behind community data change and we encourage collecting more community data of tested prey species before and after European catfish introduction to test the hypothesis. We conclude that used prey species can be used as a model species to verify whether chemical cue perception enhances prey survival.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Chemical communication
  • Predator-prey interaction
  • Schreckstoff
  • Wels

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 2045-7758
Christer Brönmark
E-mail: christer [dot] bronmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Head of unit

Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 37 02

+46 73 081 55 48

E-C125

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Professor

Aquatic Ecology

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Professor

Division aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 37 02

+46 73 081 55 48

E-C125

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Aquatic Ecology

Projects

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Jerker Vinterstare

PhD students, assistant supervisor

  • Nan Hu
  • Varpu Pärssinen
  • Yongcui Sha
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