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Trading off safety against food: state dependent habitat choice and foraging in crucian carp

  • Lars Pettersson
  • Christer Brönmark
Publishing year: 1993
Language: English
Pages: 353-357
Publication/Series: Oecologia
Volume: 95
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

The influence of hunger level and predation

risk on habitat choice and foraging in crucian carp,

Carassius carassius, were studied in a laboratory experiment.

Experiments were carried out in aquaria with or

without a predator (pike, Esox lucius). Habitat use and

foraging activity of three-fish foraging groups of either

fed or hungry crucian carp were studied. Fish were allowed

to choose between an open (risky) habitat with Tubifex

worms and a habitat with dense vegetation (safe)

without food. Habitat use was significantly affected by

both risk of predation and hunger level. Crucian carp

spent less time in the open habitat when there was a

predator present and they also spent less time there when

fed than when hungry. Furthermore, there was a significant

interaction between risk of predation and hunger

level, indicating a state-dependent trade-off between food

acquisition and predator avoidance.


  • Ecology
  • Trade-off- Hunger - Predation - Foraging - Crucian carp


  • ISSN: 1432-1939
Lars B. Pettersson
E-mail: lars [dot] pettersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 38 18

+46 70 611 63 45



Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden