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Plasticity of Escape Responses: Prior Predator Experience Enhances Escape Performance in a Coral Reef Fish.

Ramasamy RA, Allan BJ, McCormick MI - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Here we determined whether prior experience with the smell or sight of a predator (the Dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) affected the escape response of juveniles of the Spiny Chromis (Acanthochromis polyacanthus).Results show that individuals exposed to any of the predator cues prior to being startled exhibited a stronger escape response (i.e., reduced latency, increased escape distance, mean response speed, maximum response speed and maximum acceleration) when compared with controls.This study demonstrates the plasticity of escape responses and highlights the potential for naïve reef fish to take into account both visual and olfactory threat cues simultaneously to optimise the amplitude of their kinematic responses to perceived risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Teleost and amphibian prey undertake fast-start escape responses during a predatory attack in an attempt to avoid being captured. Although previously viewed as a reflex reaction controlled by the autonomic nervous system, the escape responses of individuals when repeatedly startled are highly variable in their characteristics, suggesting some behavioural mediation of the response. Previous studies have shown that fishes are able to learn from past experiences, but few studies have assessed how past experience with predators affect the fast-start response. Here we determined whether prior experience with the smell or sight of a predator (the Dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) affected the escape response of juveniles of the Spiny Chromis (Acanthochromis polyacanthus). Results show that individuals exposed to any of the predator cues prior to being startled exhibited a stronger escape response (i.e., reduced latency, increased escape distance, mean response speed, maximum response speed and maximum acceleration) when compared with controls. This study demonstrates the plasticity of escape responses and highlights the potential for naïve reef fish to take into account both visual and olfactory threat cues simultaneously to optimise the amplitude of their kinematic responses to perceived risk.

No MeSH data available.


Comparison of fast-start kinematics of juvenile Acanthochromis polyacanthus to 3 predator cues and controls.(a) latency (s), (b) response duration (s), (c) response distance (m), (d) mean response speed (m s-1), (e) maximum response speed (m s-1), and (f) maximum acceleration (m s-2) (± S.E.). n = 15.
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pone.0132790.g001: Comparison of fast-start kinematics of juvenile Acanthochromis polyacanthus to 3 predator cues and controls.(a) latency (s), (b) response duration (s), (c) response distance (m), (d) mean response speed (m s-1), (e) maximum response speed (m s-1), and (f) maximum acceleration (m s-2) (± S.E.). n = 15.

Mentions: There was a difference in the overall fast-start behaviour of fish in response to the treatments (MANOVA, Pillai’s Trace: F18, 159 = 3.4, p < 0.0001; Fig 1). Overall, A. polyacanthus juveniles responded to the burst stimulus more effectively when they had been exposed to a predator cue, regardless of whether it was the odour, sight or a combination of the two cues.


Plasticity of Escape Responses: Prior Predator Experience Enhances Escape Performance in a Coral Reef Fish.

Ramasamy RA, Allan BJ, McCormick MI - PLoS ONE (2015)

Comparison of fast-start kinematics of juvenile Acanthochromis polyacanthus to 3 predator cues and controls.(a) latency (s), (b) response duration (s), (c) response distance (m), (d) mean response speed (m s-1), (e) maximum response speed (m s-1), and (f) maximum acceleration (m s-2) (± S.E.). n = 15.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526227&req=5

pone.0132790.g001: Comparison of fast-start kinematics of juvenile Acanthochromis polyacanthus to 3 predator cues and controls.(a) latency (s), (b) response duration (s), (c) response distance (m), (d) mean response speed (m s-1), (e) maximum response speed (m s-1), and (f) maximum acceleration (m s-2) (± S.E.). n = 15.
Mentions: There was a difference in the overall fast-start behaviour of fish in response to the treatments (MANOVA, Pillai’s Trace: F18, 159 = 3.4, p < 0.0001; Fig 1). Overall, A. polyacanthus juveniles responded to the burst stimulus more effectively when they had been exposed to a predator cue, regardless of whether it was the odour, sight or a combination of the two cues.

Bottom Line: Here we determined whether prior experience with the smell or sight of a predator (the Dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) affected the escape response of juveniles of the Spiny Chromis (Acanthochromis polyacanthus).Results show that individuals exposed to any of the predator cues prior to being startled exhibited a stronger escape response (i.e., reduced latency, increased escape distance, mean response speed, maximum response speed and maximum acceleration) when compared with controls.This study demonstrates the plasticity of escape responses and highlights the potential for naïve reef fish to take into account both visual and olfactory threat cues simultaneously to optimise the amplitude of their kinematic responses to perceived risk.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Teleost and amphibian prey undertake fast-start escape responses during a predatory attack in an attempt to avoid being captured. Although previously viewed as a reflex reaction controlled by the autonomic nervous system, the escape responses of individuals when repeatedly startled are highly variable in their characteristics, suggesting some behavioural mediation of the response. Previous studies have shown that fishes are able to learn from past experiences, but few studies have assessed how past experience with predators affect the fast-start response. Here we determined whether prior experience with the smell or sight of a predator (the Dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) affected the escape response of juveniles of the Spiny Chromis (Acanthochromis polyacanthus). Results show that individuals exposed to any of the predator cues prior to being startled exhibited a stronger escape response (i.e., reduced latency, increased escape distance, mean response speed, maximum response speed and maximum acceleration) when compared with controls. This study demonstrates the plasticity of escape responses and highlights the potential for naïve reef fish to take into account both visual and olfactory threat cues simultaneously to optimise the amplitude of their kinematic responses to perceived risk.

No MeSH data available.