Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 6, pp 1311–1318 | Cite as

Improving escape responses of hatchery-reared scallops Argopecten purpuratus

  • Katherina B. Brokordt
  • Gabriela A. Núñez
  • Carlos F. GaymerEmail author
Original Paper


Hatchery rearing of the scallop Argopecten purpuratus has resulted in successive generations of scallops not exposed to predators that are less sensitive to and escape more slowly from predators than wild scallops. The present study examined whether conditioning hatchery-reared A. purpuratus to its natural predator, the sea star Meyenaster gelatinosus, improved its escape responses. Both juvenile and adult A. purpuratus from Tongoy Bay, Chile, were exposed for 7 days to different conditions: (1) continuous predator odor, (2) predator contact for 30 min three times a day, (3) a combination of the two previous conditions, and (4) no exposure to the predator (control). After conditioning, we evaluated scallop’s escape responses: reaction time, total clap number, duration of the clapping response, clapping rate, and the time scallops spent closed when exhausted. Conditioning with contact and odor plus contact (i.e., high predation risk) resulted in 25 and 50% shorter reaction times of juveniles and adults, respectively. Further, these stimuli caused juveniles to increase the number of claps and clapping rate. For adults, the time spent closed after exhaustion decreased by 50 and 63% after conditioning with contact and odor plus contact, respectively. Therefore, it is shown for the first time that exposure of scallops to increasing predator stimuli enhances escape responses, evidence of threat-sensitive predator avoidance.


Escape Response Fathead Minnow Predator Odor Juvenile Scallop Predator Stimulus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to N. Leiva, K. Jeno, D. Jurado and I. Núñez for their help on laboratory experiments and J. Barrios for collecting the scallops from the natural bed. Ostramar Ltda. and Universidad Católica del Norte’s aquaculture center provided the hatchery-reared scallops. In addition, we thank J. Himmelman and H. Feder for useful comments that improved the manuscript. This study was supported by Fondecyt (Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico, Chile) funding (#1050291 and #3030007) to KBB and CFG, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherina B. Brokordt
    • 1
  • Gabriela A. Núñez
    • 2
  • Carlos F. Gaymer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas, Universidad Católica del NorteCoquimboChile
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología MarinaUniversidad Católica del NorteCoquimboChile

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