Academic article

Butyl Benzyl Pfthalate Affects Shoaling Behavior and Bottom-Dwelling Behavior in Threespine Stickleback

Espmark, Åsa Maria O.; Billing, Anna Maria; Rosenqvist, Gunilla; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

Publication details

Journal: Environmental Research, vol. 89, p. 180–187, 2002

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0013-9351
Electronic: 1096-0953

Open Access: none


In this laboratory experiment, the effects on fish behavior caused by butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) were of interest. We showed that shoaling behavior and bottom-dwelling behavior in threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, were altered as a result of exposure to 0.1 mg/L BBP. Threespine sticklebacks, collected from a freshwater population in central Norway, were exposed to BBP for 26 days. BBP was administered daily through the water. We found that exposed fish aggregated more into one single shoal than control fish. Further, the exposed fish spent more time at the bottom of the test aquarium than the control fish. From these results we conclude that the behavior traits aggregation and bottom-dwelling activity may be suitable and sensitive in detecting effects of BBP in threespine stickleback.