The Influence of Taste Perception in Foraging Choices in Rusty Crayfish

TitleThe Influence of Taste Perception in Foraging Choices in Rusty Crayfish
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAustin EL
Academic DepartmentBiology
UniversityBowling Green State University

Organisms use chemical cues in their environment to extract relevant information in order to perform a variety of tasks. To forage effectively, organisms must locate and assess the quality of food sources based on these chemical cues. When determining the quality of these food sources, crayfish use chemical cues in the form of amino acids to both locate food and to determine consumption. However, whether crayfish foraging in flowing systems is altered by differing amino acid concentration is currently unknown. Rusty crayfish collected from two different watershed locations were exposed to fish gelatin containing increasing concentrations of the amino acid β-Alanine (attractive amino acid) and L-Tyrosine (aversive amino acid). The gelatin was weighed before and after each 24-hour trial to determine consumption. The addition of an attractive amino acid (β-Alanine) caused a significant drop in consumption but only for crayfish collected from one of the locations (p = 0.04). The addition of an aversive amino acid (L-Tyrosine) had no effect on crayfish consumption from either location. This study demonstrates that the foraging and feeding behaviors of organisms are influenced by the presence of amino acids located in food sources.

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