Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 317–323 | Cite as

Information transfer and the facilitation and inhibition of feeding in a schooling fish

  • Clifford H. Ryer
  • Bori L. Olla
Full Papers


Recent studies show that fish forage actively when perceived risk is low, but decrease foraging and increase vigilance when perceived risk is high. Isolated juvenile chum salmon,Oncorhynchus keta, were visually exposed to groups of conspecifics engaged in different activities to examine their ability to gain information about foraging opportunity and risk by interpreting conspecific behavior. Isolates ate most when exposed to feeding groups, less when exposed to nonfeedig groups, and least when exposed to alarmed groups. Isolates exposed to alarmed conspecifics also spent more time motionless than did fish exposed to either feeding or nonfeeding conspecifics. These findings indicate that schooling fish gain information by interpreting conspecific behavior, and are consistent with research showing that animals balance the conflicting demands of foraging and vigilance.

Key words

Alarm Attraction Behavior Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta Threat Vigilance Visual communication 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford H. Ryer
    • 1
  • Bori L. Olla
    • 2
  1. 1.Hatfield Marine Science CenterOregon State UniversityNewportUSA
  2. 2.Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Hatfield Marine Science CenterCooperative Institute for Marine Resources StudiesNewportUSA

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