Divergent anti-predator strategies and risk allocation in juveniles of three North Pacific flatfishes Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q811kn26h

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  • Frequent or lengthy predation risk can cause one of two modifications of prey feeding behavior: 1) postponement of feeding to less risky periods, or 2) resumption of feeding behavior despite persistent risk. North Pacific flatfishes exhibit both of these responses when confronted with temporal variation in risk, and this experimental series demonstrates that the particular response reflects species-specific behavioral strategies. Two laboratory experiments were conducted with juvenile English sole (Parophrys vetulus), northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra), and Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), which inhabit the same nurseries in Alaska as juveniles but have been shown to exhibit different levels of risk aversion. One experiment explored the effects of variation in risk exposure frequency on the tradeoff between feeding and anti-predator behaviors. A second experiment examined temporal allocation of feeding across three light levels to determine if fish responded to risk differently in environments simulating dusk. Both experiments revealed significant effects of behavioral strategy on responses to temporal patterns of risk. English sole fully recovered feeding behaviors with increasing frequency of predator encounters and did not modify their risk response as light level decreased. Rock sole did not resume feeding behavior as risk frequency increased, however they relaxed anti-predator behavior under low light conditions. Halibut demonstrated intermediate responses, exhibiting limited recovery of feeding with increasing risk frequency, and they modified their risk response in a low light environment. These trends suggest that divergent behavioral strategies not only affect how organisms respond to risk in the short term but also impact how temporal variation in risk is incorporated into the behavioral decision-making process.
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