Inter-Research > MEPS > v412 > p273-282  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 412:273-282 (2010)  -  DOI:

Enrichment promotes learning in fish

David A. Strand1,3, Anne C. Utne-Palm1, Per J. Jakobsen1, Victoria A. Braithwaite1,2, Knut H. Jensen1, Anne G. V. Salvanes 1,*

1Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen 5020, Norway
2School of Forest Resources and Department of Biology, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
3Present address: Section of Mycology, National Veterinary Institute Norway, Oslo 0106, Norway
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Captive birds and mammals reared in enriched rearing environments have been shown to behave more flexibly compared to animals reared in impoverished or plain environments. Recent evidence has shown that this is also true for fish; enrichment promotes faster recovery after a stressful experience, a higher propensity for exploration of novel areas and the development of more sophisticated social behaviour. Here we report how enrichment influences social learning in juvenile cod Gadus morhua that were reared in either spatially enriched or plain tanks. Naïve juvenile cod were allowed to repeatedly observe experienced tutors as they foraged on gammarid or mysid prey, or control tutors that acted as social stimuli but did not forage. The naïve fish then received a mixture of mysid and gammarid prey. Enriched-reared fish improved their ability to consume live prey in the presence of foraging tutors, but plain-reared fish did not. Although gammarids were consumed more often and more quickly than mysids, both among tutors and naïve fish, social learning from tutors demonstrating mysid hunting and consumption had its greatest effect on social learning in the enriched fish.

KEY WORDS: Behaviour · Cod · Gadus morhua · Habitat enrichment · Social learning · Feeding behaviour · Conservation · Stock enhancement

Full text in pdf format
Cite this article as: Strand DA, Utne-Palm AC, Jakobsen PJ, Braithwaite VA, Jensen KH, Salvanes AGV (2010) Enrichment promotes learning in fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 412:273-282.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

 Previous article Next article