Population-level responses of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) to alarm substances and predator odour

  • Author / Creator
    Jung, Jennifer
  • Alarm substances, released by injured prey, and odours from predators, such as northern pike, are chemical cues associated with increased predation risk in aquatic ecosystems. In laboratory studies, individual prey can respond to the presence of such cues by reducing conspicuous behaviours, such as foraging and by seeking shelter. These responses may reduce growth and reproduction, which could have effects at the population-level. The objective of my study was to determine if alarm substances or pike odour have population-level effects on fathead minnow. In the cattle trough experiment, alarm substances and pike odour had no effect on breeding behaviour and recruitment of young; however, spawning occurred earlier with exposure to alarm substances relative to water controls. In a larger-scale pond experiment, alarm substances had no effect on reproduction or recruitment. Despite individual-level effects in the laboratory, exposure to alarm substances and pike odour had no impact at the population scale.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.