Social context, competitive interactions and the dynamic nature of antipredator responses of juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

G. E. Brown, M. C. Harvey, A. O.H.C. Leduc, M. C.O. Ferrari, D. P. Chivers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of food ration and social context, as well as possible interactions, on the antipredator behaviour of juvenile rainbow trout Onchorhynchus mykiss were investigated in a pair of laboratory studies. In experiment 1, pairs of dominant and subordinate O. mykiss were exposed to conspecific alarm cues when maintained under high or low food rations. Under high food rations, dominant individuals responded to predation risk, whereas subordinates used the opportunity to feed. Under low food ration, however, the opposite pattern was observed, where subordinates responded to predation cues and dominants did not. Experiment 2 consisted of performing the same experiment, however separating the dominant and subordinate O. mykiss 3 h before testing. When tested separately, dominant and subordinate individuals did not differ in their responses to alarm cues, regardless of food ration. These results demonstrate that there is a complex interaction between current energy status and social context on decision making by prey animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-562
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical alarm cues
  • Predator avoidance
  • Social status
  • Threat-sensitive trade-offs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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