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Sex-differences and temporal consistency in stickleback fish boldness.

King AJ, Fürtbauer I, Mamuneas D, James C, Manica A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Since males tend to experience greater variance in reproductive success than females, there may be considerable fitness benefits associated with "bolder" behavioural types, but only recently have researchers begun to consider sex-specific and life-history strategies associated with these.Here we test the hypothesis that male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) show high risk but potentially high return behaviours compared to females.We found that the time fish spent out of cover exploring their environment was correlated over two days, and males spent significantly more time out of cover than females.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom ; The Structure and Motion Laboratory, The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom ; Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Behavioural traits that co-vary across contexts or situations often reflect fundamental trade-offs which individuals experience in different contexts (e.g. fitness trade-offs between exploration and predation risk). Since males tend to experience greater variance in reproductive success than females, there may be considerable fitness benefits associated with "bolder" behavioural types, but only recently have researchers begun to consider sex-specific and life-history strategies associated with these. Here we test the hypothesis that male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) show high risk but potentially high return behaviours compared to females. According to this hypothesis we predicted that male fish would show greater exploration of their environment in a foraging context, and be caught sooner by an experimenter than females. We found that the time fish spent out of cover exploring their environment was correlated over two days, and males spent significantly more time out of cover than females. Also, the order in which fish were net-caught from their holding aquarium by an experimenter prior to experiments was negatively correlated with the time spent out of cover during tests, and males tended to be caught sooner than females. Moreover, we found a positive correlation between the catch number prior to our experiments and nine months after, pointing towards consistent, long-term individual differences in behaviour.

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Exploratory behaviour and catch number.(A) Correlation between the proportion of time three-spined stickleback fish spent out of cover during two consecutive test days when placed in exploratory behaviour assessment tanks for one hour (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33). (B) Correlation between the mean time spent out of cover and catch number, i.e., the sequence fish were net-caught from their holding tank (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33). Inset figures for both panels show data for the full sample (n = 48), including fish that failed to locate food on days one and two (see Methods for details).
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pone-0081116-g002: Exploratory behaviour and catch number.(A) Correlation between the proportion of time three-spined stickleback fish spent out of cover during two consecutive test days when placed in exploratory behaviour assessment tanks for one hour (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33). (B) Correlation between the mean time spent out of cover and catch number, i.e., the sequence fish were net-caught from their holding tank (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33). Inset figures for both panels show data for the full sample (n = 48), including fish that failed to locate food on days one and two (see Methods for details).

Mentions: The proportion of time individual fish spent out of cover in search of food was significantly positively correlated across our two test days (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33; Figure 2A), and the average time fish spent out of cover was significantly negatively correlated with catch number (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33; Figure 2B) supporting our first prediction. These relationships hold for our full sample (n = 48 fish), including those individuals that failed to find food during days one and two of our exploratory behaviour experiments (repeatability of time out of cover: Spearman’s ρ = 0.50, p<0.001, n = 48; Figure 2A inset; correlation between time out of cover and catch number: Spearman’s ρ = −0.42, p<0.004, n = 48; Figure 2B inset).


Sex-differences and temporal consistency in stickleback fish boldness.

King AJ, Fürtbauer I, Mamuneas D, James C, Manica A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Exploratory behaviour and catch number.(A) Correlation between the proportion of time three-spined stickleback fish spent out of cover during two consecutive test days when placed in exploratory behaviour assessment tanks for one hour (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33). (B) Correlation between the mean time spent out of cover and catch number, i.e., the sequence fish were net-caught from their holding tank (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33). Inset figures for both panels show data for the full sample (n = 48), including fish that failed to locate food on days one and two (see Methods for details).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3852232&req=5

pone-0081116-g002: Exploratory behaviour and catch number.(A) Correlation between the proportion of time three-spined stickleback fish spent out of cover during two consecutive test days when placed in exploratory behaviour assessment tanks for one hour (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33). (B) Correlation between the mean time spent out of cover and catch number, i.e., the sequence fish were net-caught from their holding tank (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33). Inset figures for both panels show data for the full sample (n = 48), including fish that failed to locate food on days one and two (see Methods for details).
Mentions: The proportion of time individual fish spent out of cover in search of food was significantly positively correlated across our two test days (Spearman’s ρ = 0.60, p<0.001, n = 33; Figure 2A), and the average time fish spent out of cover was significantly negatively correlated with catch number (Spearman’s ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025, n = 33; Figure 2B) supporting our first prediction. These relationships hold for our full sample (n = 48 fish), including those individuals that failed to find food during days one and two of our exploratory behaviour experiments (repeatability of time out of cover: Spearman’s ρ = 0.50, p<0.001, n = 48; Figure 2A inset; correlation between time out of cover and catch number: Spearman’s ρ = −0.42, p<0.004, n = 48; Figure 2B inset).

Bottom Line: Since males tend to experience greater variance in reproductive success than females, there may be considerable fitness benefits associated with "bolder" behavioural types, but only recently have researchers begun to consider sex-specific and life-history strategies associated with these.Here we test the hypothesis that male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) show high risk but potentially high return behaviours compared to females.We found that the time fish spent out of cover exploring their environment was correlated over two days, and males spent significantly more time out of cover than females.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom ; The Structure and Motion Laboratory, The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom ; Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Behavioural traits that co-vary across contexts or situations often reflect fundamental trade-offs which individuals experience in different contexts (e.g. fitness trade-offs between exploration and predation risk). Since males tend to experience greater variance in reproductive success than females, there may be considerable fitness benefits associated with "bolder" behavioural types, but only recently have researchers begun to consider sex-specific and life-history strategies associated with these. Here we test the hypothesis that male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) show high risk but potentially high return behaviours compared to females. According to this hypothesis we predicted that male fish would show greater exploration of their environment in a foraging context, and be caught sooner by an experimenter than females. We found that the time fish spent out of cover exploring their environment was correlated over two days, and males spent significantly more time out of cover than females. Also, the order in which fish were net-caught from their holding aquarium by an experimenter prior to experiments was negatively correlated with the time spent out of cover during tests, and males tended to be caught sooner than females. Moreover, we found a positive correlation between the catch number prior to our experiments and nine months after, pointing towards consistent, long-term individual differences in behaviour.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus