Spatial arrangement of odor sources modifies the temporal aspects of crayfish search strategies

TitleSpatial arrangement of odor sources modifies the temporal aspects of crayfish search strategies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsWolf MCaroline, Voigt R, Moore PA
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology

In natural habitats, animals encounter cues from multiple odor sources that may impact foraging decisions. Previous work has focused on orientation behavior to one food odor source, and does not distinguish between mechanosensory and chemosensory guidance of orientation. The present study investigated how the spatial distribution of two food cues affects crayfish orientation behavior. Crayfish, Orconectes virilis, were presented with odor sources that were separated in an artificial stream. Orientation behavior was filmed from above and digitized at a rate of 1 frame per sec. Electrochemical recordings were used to characterize the hydrodynamic structure of the artificial stream. Temporal changes in the odor plume structure were seen as a result of the positioning of the odor sources. Changes in the intermittency of the odor pulses as well as concentration, rise time, and slope of the pulse were observed. Time series analysis showed that the lower frequency signals of the dual odor source were higher in energy than the single 1X or single 2X sources. Crayfish altered orientation strategies when presented with different spatial arrangements of food cues. In particular, the temporal aspects of the orientation pattern were most altered by the differences in odor presentations. Crayfish responded with faster walking speeds as a function of distance to the odor source and exhibited more consistent turning angles. This correlates with temporal changes in odor structure, and indicates that the temporal pattern of odor stimulation may be driving the temporal pattern of behavior.