SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1988

Behavioral Responses to Low Levels of Toxic Substances in Rainbow Trout ( , Rich)


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.

Author Information

Hadjinicolaou, J
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
LaRoche, G
SNC Engineering Consulting Group, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 327–340
DOI: 10.1520/STP34050S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5043-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0978-0