Cranberry Lake Biological Station

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Alarm pheromones are vital to the survival of many fish, and are detected by both conspecifics and heterospecifics. We aim to show how different species of fish respond to the pheromones of minnows they live with, versus pheromones from minnows of unfamiliar origin. We hypothesize fish activity will be greater in the presence of pheromone released by prey found in their habitat than in the presence of pheromone released by prey from another habitat. Individual fish collected from Cranberry Lake were placed in separate tanks and baseline activity levels were recorded. After 30 minutes, water with alarm pheromones from killifish or dace was dumped into each tank and activity levels were observed. Thirteen rock bass, nine brown bullhead, and nine golden shiner were tested. ANOVA and Tukey tests were used to compare the percent change in activity of fish when presented with pheromone. Results will be discussed during our presentation. Our anticipated findings are significant in that they will show how some species increase activity when presented with alarm pheromones, while others decrease their activity in order to avoid potential predators.


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