Evol Ecol Res 11: 935-948 (2009) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Compensatory behaviour in response to sulphide-induced hypoxia affects time budgets, feeding efficiency, and predation risk
Michael Tobler1, Ruediger W. Riesch2, Courtney M. Tobler3 and Martin Plath4
1Department of Biology and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, 2Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 3Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA and 4Department of Ecology and Evolution, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Correspondence: M. Tobler, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2258 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, USA.
Background: In habitats containing toxic hydrogen sulphide, fish breathe at the water’s surface to stay alive. This behaviour is called aquatic surface respiration.
Questions: What effects does this compensatory behaviour have? Does it constrain individuals’ time budgets? Does it have a negative effect on foraging? Does it increase susceptibility to predators?
Organisms and locations: Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana: Poeciliidae, Teleostei) and sulphur mollies (P. sulphuraria) inhabiting sulphidic and non-sulphidic habitats in Tabasco (Mexico).
Methods: We observed time budgets of fish in sulphidic and non-sulphidic habitats. We measured the amount of food eaten by fish in the various habitats. We exposed fish to a predator (giant water-bug, Belostoma sp.: Belostomatidae, Hemiptera) in mesocosms placed in sulphidic and non-sulphidic habitats.
Results: There was an inverse correlation between time spent performing aquatic surface respiration and time dedicated to foraging. Furthermore, fish in non-sulphidic habitats had more food in their guts than conspecifics from sulphidic habitats. Our predation experiments showed no overall difference in capture rates between sulphidic and non-sulphidic sites; however, males were disproportionately preyed upon.
Keywords: aquatic surface respiration, behavioural trade-off, Belostoma, cavefish, energy limitation, hydrogen sulphide, Poecilia, Poeciliidae.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2009 Michael Tobler. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.