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An avoidance apparatus was designed with a 10-m-long channel to obtain time-lapsed, three-dimensional display of fish positioning. With this new apparatus, effects of the toxicant dodecyl sodium sulfate (DSS) and two different polymers and monomers were tested on rainbow trout. The results show that four types of avoidance-preference, dose-response curves may be observed and that at low concentrations (0.01 to 0.08 mg/L for the DSS and in a range of 0.4 to 4 mg/L for different monomers and polymers) some toxicants may attract rather than repel certain organisms. This response is interpreted as representing behavioral extension of hormesis, the name given to the stimulatory effects caused by low levels of potentially toxic agents. An interpretation of unexplained literature data presents findings that endorse the concept of behavioral hormesis.
avoidance behavior, hormesis, rainbow trout (, Salmo gairdneri, , Rich), dose-response curve, toxic substances
Assistant professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
Research scientist, SNC Engineering Consulting Group, Montreal, Quebec