Section 10
Chapter 9,960

Regulatory effects of environmental chemical signals on search behavior and foraging success

Zimmer, R.K.; Commins, J.E.; Browne, K.A.

Ecology 80(4): 32-46


ISSN/ISBN: 0012-9658
DOI: 10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1432:reoecs]2.0.co;2
Accession: 009959930

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A field study was conducted to determine the role of amino acids as attractants for mediating the foraging of mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta) in a tidal estuary. Intact and injured fiddler crabs (Uca pugilator) and hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) release amino acids into the environment. It was found that mud snails were significantly attracted to injured crabs and clams. The mud snails were also highly attracted to synthetic mixtures of amino acids that simulated fluids leaking from injured prey. However, only flux, and not amino acid composition, concentration, or mean volume flow rate, was directly correlated with the number of mud snails attracted. Therefore, the attraction of mud snails is more tightly coupled to the physical transport of chemical stimuli than to the molecular properties of specific amino acids.

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