The effects of predation risk and current velocity stress on growth, condition and swimming energetics of Japanese minnow (Pseudorasbora parva)
A Japanese minnow, Pseudorasbora parva, was exposed simultaneously to multiple dangers in experimental tanks. The study aimed to quantify to what extent the risk of predation coinciding with an adverse environmental factor, high flow velocity, affects prey in terms of growth and energy expenditure. In this experiment, two measures of growth (i.e., body weight and length), condition, feeding, swimming cost and behavioral responses were analyzed. The results showed that in such an environment, prey showed lowered growth and were in a poorer condition. As the prey shifted to the shallow area with high flow velocity, the prey consumed a lower ration and incurred multiple costs for swimming locomotion that might reduce the allocation of energy to biomass and energy storage. Reduction in activity might decrease the cost of locomotion, but it did not have a considerable effect on overall swimming energy expenditure. In stream ecosystems, the high swimming energy expenditure appears to magnify the effects of predation risk by causing lowered growth and a poorer condition and, hence, fitness. The present study shows that high flow velocity is one of the environmental factors that determine the energetic responses of a potential prey to the presence of predators.