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Location by Olfaction: A Model and Application to the Mating Problem in the Deep-Sea Hatchetfish Argyropelecus hemigymnus

George Y. Jumper, Jr. and Ronald C. Baird
The American Naturalist
Vol. 138, No. 6 (Dec., 1991), pp. 1431-1458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2462555
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Location by Olfaction: A Model and Application to the Mating Problem in the Deep-Sea Hatchetfish Argyropelecus hemigymnus
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Abstract

We develop a model for mate location by olfaction and apply it to reproductive behavior in the deep-sea hetchetfish Argyropelecus hemigymnus. The model includes diffusion theory to model the geometry of the region of detectable pheromone around the female, kinetic theory to medel the motion of the males prior to detection of a pheromone field, and a Monte Carlo search routine to estimate the time to locate the female after detection. The model yields results that are consistent with our present understanding of the biology of A. hemigymnus. The success of olfactory communication systems is strongly dependent on diffusion velocity, which is a function of depth in the ocean. The receiving organism must have low detection thresholds and high dynamic sensitivity to changes in odor concentration to use olfaction effectively for long-range detection and location of advertising females. Olfaction appears to be critical to reproductive success and therefore viability for many dispersed and sparse populations living in deep ocean environments.

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