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Social status modulates the behavioral and physiological consequences of a chemical pollutant in animal groups

McCallum, Erin and Dey, Cody J. and Cerveny, Daniel and Bose, Aneesh P. H. and Brodin, Tomas (2021). Social status modulates the behavioral and physiological consequences of a chemical pollutant in animal groups. Ecological Applications. 31 , e02454
[Research article]

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Abstract

The social environment (i.e., the suite of social interactions that occur among individuals that can result in variation in social ranks) is a commonly overlooked aspect of biology when scientists evaluate the effects of chemical contaminants. The social environment, however, represents the arena in which individual-level performance shapes group- or population-level outcomes and may therefore mediate many of the ultimate consequences of chemicals for wildlife. Here, we evaluated the role that the social environment plays in determining the consequences of pollutant exposure. We exposed groups of juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) to an emerging pharmaceutical pollutant that is commonly detected in freshwaters (the benzodiazepine, oxazepam) and allowed them to form dominance hierarchies. Exposure affected dominant and subordinate fish differently, causing fish to become less aggressive at high doses and subordinate fish to become more competitively successful at low doses. These perturbations had further consequences for growth, fin damage, and survival. Exposure also modulated physiological stress in the hierarchy, and social status itself affected how much oxazepam was absorbed in tissues, potentially creating a dynamic feedback loop that further influences the asymmetric effects of exposure on differing social statuses. Many effects followed a "U-shaped" dose-response curve, highlighting the importance of nonlinear, low-dose effects. Altogether, we show that social structure in animal groups can interact with and modulate the effects of an environmental contaminant. We underscore the need to account for an organism's natural ecological context, including their social environment, in future experiments and environmental risk assessments to predict the effects of chemical contaminants on wildlife.

Authors/Creators:McCallum, Erin and Dey, Cody J. and Cerveny, Daniel and Bose, Aneesh P. H. and Brodin, Tomas
Title:Social status modulates the behavioral and physiological consequences of a chemical pollutant in animal groups
Series Name/Journal:Ecological Applications
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:31
Article number:e02454
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1051-0761
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:behavior, cortisol, dominance, ecotoxicology, exposure, fish, oxazepam, pharmaceutical, Salmo trutta, social status, trout
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114287
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-114287
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1002/eap.2454
Web of Science (WoS)000710749300001
ID Code:26341
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:20 Dec 2021 05:25
Metadata Last Modified:20 Dec 2021 06:01

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