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Behavioural consequences of sensory plasticity in guppies

Chapman, Ben LU ; Morrell, Lesley J.; Tosh, Colin R. and Krause, Jens (2010) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 277(1686). p.1395-1401
Abstract
Sensory plasticity, whereby individuals compensate for sensory deprivation in one sense by an improvement in the performance of an alternative sense, is a well-documented phenomenon in nature. Despite this, the behavioural and ecological consequences of sensory plasticity have not been addressed. Here we show experimentally that some components (vision and chemoreception) of the sensory system of guppies are developmentally plastic, and that this plasticity has important consequences for foraging behaviour. Guppies reared under low light conditions had a significantly stronger response to chemical food cues encountered in isolation than fish reared at higher light levels. Conversely, they exhibited a weaker response to visual-only cues.... (More)
Sensory plasticity, whereby individuals compensate for sensory deprivation in one sense by an improvement in the performance of an alternative sense, is a well-documented phenomenon in nature. Despite this, the behavioural and ecological consequences of sensory plasticity have not been addressed. Here we show experimentally that some components (vision and chemoreception) of the sensory system of guppies are developmentally plastic, and that this plasticity has important consequences for foraging behaviour. Guppies reared under low light conditions had a significantly stronger response to chemical food cues encountered in isolation than fish reared at higher light levels. Conversely, they exhibited a weaker response to visual-only cues. When visual and olfactory/gustatory cues were presented together, no difference between the strength of response for fish reared at different light intensities was evident. Our data suggest that guppies can compensate for experience of a visually poor, low light environment via a sensory switch from vision to olfaction/gustation. This switch from sight to chemoreception may allow individuals to carry out the foraging behaviour that is essential to their survival in a visually poor environment. These considerations are especially important given the increasing frequency of anthropogenic changes to ecosystems. Compensatory phenotypic plasticity as demonstrated by our study may provide a hitherto unconsidered buffer that could allow animals to perform fundamental behaviours in the face of considerable change to the sensory environment. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
foraging behaviour, light environment, sensory plasticity, development
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
277
issue
1686
pages
1395 - 1401
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000276003400013
  • scopus:77952285626
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2009.2055
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f8993705-7ca2-432a-85d1-b0d66fa5a378 (old id 1587277)
date added to LUP
2010-04-26 15:45:32
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:02:19
@article{f8993705-7ca2-432a-85d1-b0d66fa5a378,
  abstract     = {Sensory plasticity, whereby individuals compensate for sensory deprivation in one sense by an improvement in the performance of an alternative sense, is a well-documented phenomenon in nature. Despite this, the behavioural and ecological consequences of sensory plasticity have not been addressed. Here we show experimentally that some components (vision and chemoreception) of the sensory system of guppies are developmentally plastic, and that this plasticity has important consequences for foraging behaviour. Guppies reared under low light conditions had a significantly stronger response to chemical food cues encountered in isolation than fish reared at higher light levels. Conversely, they exhibited a weaker response to visual-only cues. When visual and olfactory/gustatory cues were presented together, no difference between the strength of response for fish reared at different light intensities was evident. Our data suggest that guppies can compensate for experience of a visually poor, low light environment via a sensory switch from vision to olfaction/gustation. This switch from sight to chemoreception may allow individuals to carry out the foraging behaviour that is essential to their survival in a visually poor environment. These considerations are especially important given the increasing frequency of anthropogenic changes to ecosystems. Compensatory phenotypic plasticity as demonstrated by our study may provide a hitherto unconsidered buffer that could allow animals to perform fundamental behaviours in the face of considerable change to the sensory environment.},
  author       = {Chapman, Ben and Morrell, Lesley J. and Tosh, Colin R. and Krause, Jens},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  keyword      = {foraging behaviour,light environment,sensory plasticity,development},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1686},
  pages        = {1395--1401},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Behavioural consequences of sensory plasticity in guppies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2009.2055},
  volume       = {277},
  year         = {2010},
}