Behavioral evidence for a role of chemoreception during reproduction in lake trout

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Tyler J. Buchinger; Weiming Li
By: , and 



Chemoreception is hypothesized to influence spawning site selection, mate search, and synchronization of gamete release in chars (Salvelinus spp.), but behavioral evidence is generally lacking. Here, we provide a survey of the behavioral responses of reproductive male and female lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) to natural conspecific chemosensory stimuli. A flow-through laboratory assay with side-by-side artificial spawning reefs was used to evaluate behavioral preferences of spawning-phase males and females for chemosensory stimuli from juveniles and from spawning-phase males and females. Males and females preferred male and juvenile stimuli over no stimuli, but only had weak preferences for female stimuli. Only females had a preference for male over juvenile stimuli when given a direct choice between the two. The unexpected observation of male attraction to male stimuli, even when offered female stimuli, indicates a fundamental difference from the existing models of chemical communication in fishes. We discuss our results from the perspectives of prespawning aggregation, mate evaluation, and spawning synchronization. Identification of specific components of the stimuli will allow confirmation of the function and may have management implications for native and invasive populations of lake trout that are ecologically and economically important.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Behavioral evidence for a role of chemoreception during reproduction in lake trout
Series title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0351
Volume 72
Issue 12
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher National Research Council Canada
Publisher location Ottawa
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 1847
Last page 1852
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details