Food deprivation reduces social interest in the European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax Article - 2019

Cassandre Aimon, Nicolas Le Bayon, Stephane Le Floch, Guy Claireaux

Cassandre Aimon, Nicolas Le Bayon, Stephane Le Floch, Guy Claireaux, « Food deprivation reduces social interest in the European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax  », Journal of Experimental Biology, 2019, UNSP jeb190553. ISSN 0022-0949

Abstract

Periods of food deprivation of several months are common events for fishes and in such conditions, fitness will be determined by their capacity to maximize food encounters while minimizing predation risk. In this context, the propensity to take risks and the willingness to associate with conspecifics are particularly important as they contribute to alleviating the trade-off between predation avoidance and foraging efficiency. This study examined to what extent food deprivation modulates fish risk-taking and social behaviours, as well as the relationship between them. To address these issues, juvenile European sea bass were either fed daily with a maintenance ration or food deprived for a period of 3 weeks. Risk taking and sociability were assessed through measurements of fish willingness to explore a novel environment, and to interact with a novel object or a conspecific. Multivariate analysis allowed the identification of three behaviours : risk taking, exploratory activity and solitariness. Food-deprived fish interacted less with conspecifics than control fish ; however, no difference in terms of risk taking and exploratory patterns was observed. Finally, the relationship between risk taking and solitariness was influenced by feeding status. When food-deprived, fish with a higher propensity to take risk displayed increased solitariness, while when fed normally, they interacted more with conspecifics.

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