The researchers concluded all the fish started to acting the same way.
They wrote in their paper published in the Proceeding of the Royal Society: ”The key finding is that chronic exposure to even very low concentrations of fluoxetine erodes variation in activity levels between individuals.”
Taken out of context this may not seem concerning, however this may amount to a very-real problem over a long-enough timescale.
This is because behavioural traits like risk-taking and other sorts of strategies among animals are known to benefit species through a variety of ecological and evolutionary processes.
The researchers say, for example, more active and risk-prone individuals are likely to secure more resources and enjoy greater reproductive success, in turn bolstering species’ fitness, genetic diversity and overall resilience.