Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 885–895

Predator-induced diel vertical migration inDaphnia: Enrichment and preliminary chemical characterization of a kairomone exuded by fish

  • Eric von Elert
  • Carsten J. Loose


Planktivorous fish release a cue of an unknown chemical nature into the water that induces diel vertical migration inDaphnia as predator avoidance response. We used a bioassay to obtain information about the chemical nature of the kairomone. We present a method to enrich the cue from holding water of fish by sorbent extraction. The kairomone exuded byLeucaspius delineatus can be characterized as a nonolefinic low-molecular-weight anion of intermediate lipophilicity. The presence of amino groups in the molecule can be excluded, whereas hydroxy groups are essential for activity. Separation by HPLC yielded only one active fraction. The kairomones released byCarassius carassius andRutilus rutilus showed the same chemical characteristics, suggesting that the kairomones from different species of fish, sensed byDaphia, are very similar, if not identical.

Key Words

Behavior chemical communication Cladocera Daphnia diel vertical migration kairomone predator avoidance zooplankton 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric von Elert
    • 1
  • Carsten J. Loose
    • 2
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for LimnologyPlönGermany
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener Institut for Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany

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