Behaviour 2019
Do early cues of predation risk affect behavior later in life in genetic clones of the Mangrove Rivulus?
Jonathan Lopez, Katie McGhee. The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, United States

Early exposure to cues associated with a high-risk environment might affect behavior later in life, including how one responds to cues of risk. Additionally, how these early experiences shape future behavior might differ among genotypes. We examined the interaction between the early environment and genetics on future risk-taking behavior in the self-fertilizing hermaphroditic mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus). Due to many generations of selfing, parents produce genetically identical offspring resulting in distinct genetic lineages. We used alarm cues made from homogenized embryos as our cue of predation risk. Fry from four different genetic lineages were exposed to one of three treatments for one week: high risk (full-strength alarm cue), low risk (diluted alarm cue), or no risk (water). After treatment, individuals were moved into new containers and then behaviorally tested 3 weeks later. We measured their exploration of a novel tank as well as their response to cues of risk (full-strength alarm cue). Using this data we then examined how early cues of risk shape future behavior and whether this sensitivity varies among clones.