Cadmium disrupts behavioural and physiological responses to alarm substance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Graham R. Scott, Katherine A. Sloman, Claude Rouleau, Chris M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alarm substance is a chemical signal released from fish skin epithelial cells after a predator causes skin damage. When other prey fish detect alarm substance by olfaction, they perform stereotypical predator-avoidance behaviours to decrease predation risk. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of sublethal cadmium (Cd) exposure on the behavioural and physiological responses of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to alarm substance. Waterborne exposure to 2 μg Cd l–1 for 7 days eliminated normal antipredator behaviours exhibited in response to alarm substance, whereas exposures of shorter duration or lower concentration had no effect on normal behaviour. Furthermore, dietary exposure to 3 μg Cd g–1 in the food for 7 days, which produced the same whole-body Cd accumulation as waterborne exposure to 2 μg l–1, did not alter normal behaviour, indicating that an effect specific to waterborne exposure alone (i.e. Cd accumulation in the olfactory system) results in behavioural alteration. Whole-body phosphor screen autoradiography of fish exposed to 109Cd demonstrated that Cd deposition in the olfactory system (rosette, nerve and bulb) during waterborne exposure was greater than in all other organs of accumulation except the gill. However, Cd could not be detected in the brain. A short-term elevation in plasma cortisol occurred in response to alarm substance under control conditions. Cd exposures of 2 μg l–1 waterborne and 3 μg g–1 dietary for 7 days both inhibited this plasma cortisol elevation but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. Our results suggest that exposure to waterborne Cd at environmentally realistic levels (2 μg l–1) can disrupt the normal behavioural and physiological responses of fish to alarm substance and can thereby alter predator-avoidance strategies, with potential impacts on aquatic fish communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1790
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume206
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Oncorhynchus mykiss
physiological response
behavioral response
Cadmium
rainbow
cadmium
Fishes
cortisol
Hydrocortisone
fish
predator
predators
skin
Avoidance Learning
exposure
alarm
olfaction
plasma
Skin
avoidance behavior

Keywords

  • Quantitative
  • Autoradiography
  • Cortisol
  • Fish
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Behaviour
  • Metal
  • Olfaction
  • Predator avoidance
  • Alarm pheromone

Cite this

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title = "Cadmium disrupts behavioural and physiological responses to alarm substance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)",
abstract = "Alarm substance is a chemical signal released from fish skin epithelial cells after a predator causes skin damage. When other prey fish detect alarm substance by olfaction, they perform stereotypical predator-avoidance behaviours to decrease predation risk. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of sublethal cadmium (Cd) exposure on the behavioural and physiological responses of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to alarm substance. Waterborne exposure to 2 μg Cd l–1 for 7 days eliminated normal antipredator behaviours exhibited in response to alarm substance, whereas exposures of shorter duration or lower concentration had no effect on normal behaviour. Furthermore, dietary exposure to 3 μg Cd g–1 in the food for 7 days, which produced the same whole-body Cd accumulation as waterborne exposure to 2 μg l–1, did not alter normal behaviour, indicating that an effect specific to waterborne exposure alone (i.e. Cd accumulation in the olfactory system) results in behavioural alteration. Whole-body phosphor screen autoradiography of fish exposed to 109Cd demonstrated that Cd deposition in the olfactory system (rosette, nerve and bulb) during waterborne exposure was greater than in all other organs of accumulation except the gill. However, Cd could not be detected in the brain. A short-term elevation in plasma cortisol occurred in response to alarm substance under control conditions. Cd exposures of 2 μg l–1 waterborne and 3 μg g–1 dietary for 7 days both inhibited this plasma cortisol elevation but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. Our results suggest that exposure to waterborne Cd at environmentally realistic levels (2 μg l–1) can disrupt the normal behavioural and physiological responses of fish to alarm substance and can thereby alter predator-avoidance strategies, with potential impacts on aquatic fish communities.",
keywords = "Quantitative , Autoradiography, Cortisol, Fish, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Behaviour, Metal, Olfaction, Predator avoidance, Alarm pheromone",
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journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
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Cadmium disrupts behavioural and physiological responses to alarm substance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). / Scott, Graham R.; Sloman, Katherine A.; Rouleau, Claude; Wood, Chris M.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 206, 2003, p. 1179-1790.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cadmium disrupts behavioural and physiological responses to alarm substance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

AU - Scott, Graham R.

AU - Sloman, Katherine A.

AU - Rouleau, Claude

AU - Wood, Chris M.

PY - 2003

Y1 - 2003

N2 - Alarm substance is a chemical signal released from fish skin epithelial cells after a predator causes skin damage. When other prey fish detect alarm substance by olfaction, they perform stereotypical predator-avoidance behaviours to decrease predation risk. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of sublethal cadmium (Cd) exposure on the behavioural and physiological responses of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to alarm substance. Waterborne exposure to 2 μg Cd l–1 for 7 days eliminated normal antipredator behaviours exhibited in response to alarm substance, whereas exposures of shorter duration or lower concentration had no effect on normal behaviour. Furthermore, dietary exposure to 3 μg Cd g–1 in the food for 7 days, which produced the same whole-body Cd accumulation as waterborne exposure to 2 μg l–1, did not alter normal behaviour, indicating that an effect specific to waterborne exposure alone (i.e. Cd accumulation in the olfactory system) results in behavioural alteration. Whole-body phosphor screen autoradiography of fish exposed to 109Cd demonstrated that Cd deposition in the olfactory system (rosette, nerve and bulb) during waterborne exposure was greater than in all other organs of accumulation except the gill. However, Cd could not be detected in the brain. A short-term elevation in plasma cortisol occurred in response to alarm substance under control conditions. Cd exposures of 2 μg l–1 waterborne and 3 μg g–1 dietary for 7 days both inhibited this plasma cortisol elevation but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. Our results suggest that exposure to waterborne Cd at environmentally realistic levels (2 μg l–1) can disrupt the normal behavioural and physiological responses of fish to alarm substance and can thereby alter predator-avoidance strategies, with potential impacts on aquatic fish communities.

AB - Alarm substance is a chemical signal released from fish skin epithelial cells after a predator causes skin damage. When other prey fish detect alarm substance by olfaction, they perform stereotypical predator-avoidance behaviours to decrease predation risk. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of sublethal cadmium (Cd) exposure on the behavioural and physiological responses of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to alarm substance. Waterborne exposure to 2 μg Cd l–1 for 7 days eliminated normal antipredator behaviours exhibited in response to alarm substance, whereas exposures of shorter duration or lower concentration had no effect on normal behaviour. Furthermore, dietary exposure to 3 μg Cd g–1 in the food for 7 days, which produced the same whole-body Cd accumulation as waterborne exposure to 2 μg l–1, did not alter normal behaviour, indicating that an effect specific to waterborne exposure alone (i.e. Cd accumulation in the olfactory system) results in behavioural alteration. Whole-body phosphor screen autoradiography of fish exposed to 109Cd demonstrated that Cd deposition in the olfactory system (rosette, nerve and bulb) during waterborne exposure was greater than in all other organs of accumulation except the gill. However, Cd could not be detected in the brain. A short-term elevation in plasma cortisol occurred in response to alarm substance under control conditions. Cd exposures of 2 μg l–1 waterborne and 3 μg g–1 dietary for 7 days both inhibited this plasma cortisol elevation but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. Our results suggest that exposure to waterborne Cd at environmentally realistic levels (2 μg l–1) can disrupt the normal behavioural and physiological responses of fish to alarm substance and can thereby alter predator-avoidance strategies, with potential impacts on aquatic fish communities.

KW - Quantitative

KW - Autoradiography

KW - Cortisol

KW - Fish

KW - Oncorhynchus mykiss

KW - Behaviour

KW - Metal

KW - Olfaction

KW - Predator avoidance

KW - Alarm pheromone

U2 - 10.1242/jeb.00353

DO - 10.1242/jeb.00353

M3 - Article

VL - 206

SP - 1179

EP - 1790

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

ER -