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Unpredictability in food supply during early life influences boldness in fish

Chapman, Ben LU ; Morrell, Lesley J. and Krause, Jens (2010) In Behavioral Ecology 21(3). p.501-506
Abstract
Behavioral variation has been documented both between and within populations in a variety of traits. Many of these behavioral traits are phenotypically plastic and are conditional on the early environment an animal experiences, yet despite this the role of the environment in generating variation in boldness is not well understood. Here we investigate the importance of early and recent experience of temporal unpredictability in food supply on the behavior of a species of freshwater fish, the Trinidadian guppy Poecilia mticulata. We predict that individuals that experience temporally unpredictable food supplies will engage in more risky behavior than those experiencing a Predictable food supply and find evidence to support this. Fish with... (More)
Behavioral variation has been documented both between and within populations in a variety of traits. Many of these behavioral traits are phenotypically plastic and are conditional on the early environment an animal experiences, yet despite this the role of the environment in generating variation in boldness is not well understood. Here we investigate the importance of early and recent experience of temporal unpredictability in food supply on the behavior of a species of freshwater fish, the Trinidadian guppy Poecilia mticulata. We predict that individuals that experience temporally unpredictable food supplies will engage in more risky behavior than those experiencing a Predictable food supply and find evidence to support this. Fish with early experience of unpredictable environments are generally bolder and more exploratory than fish reared in predictable environments, exploring a significantly greater proportion of a novel maze and spending less time in a refuge during the trial. Individuals with early experience of unpredictability also spent significantly less time associating with conspecifics in a shoaling tendency assay, again suggesting that they are bolder than guppies reared in predictable conditions. These findings suggest that early experience is important in shaping exploratory anti shoaling behavior in this species and that unpredictability in early life can influence boldness in guppies. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
environment, unpredictable, shoaling, phenotypic plasticity, boldness, exploration
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
21
issue
3
pages
501 - 506
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000277452800010
  • scopus:77951138465
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/arq003
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
79eb846e-d439-4197-a7f8-922fdd0b8baa (old id 1618896)
date added to LUP
2010-06-18 13:43:16
date last changed
2018-06-10 04:04:29
@article{79eb846e-d439-4197-a7f8-922fdd0b8baa,
  abstract     = {Behavioral variation has been documented both between and within populations in a variety of traits. Many of these behavioral traits are phenotypically plastic and are conditional on the early environment an animal experiences, yet despite this the role of the environment in generating variation in boldness is not well understood. Here we investigate the importance of early and recent experience of temporal unpredictability in food supply on the behavior of a species of freshwater fish, the Trinidadian guppy Poecilia mticulata. We predict that individuals that experience temporally unpredictable food supplies will engage in more risky behavior than those experiencing a Predictable food supply and find evidence to support this. Fish with early experience of unpredictable environments are generally bolder and more exploratory than fish reared in predictable environments, exploring a significantly greater proportion of a novel maze and spending less time in a refuge during the trial. Individuals with early experience of unpredictability also spent significantly less time associating with conspecifics in a shoaling tendency assay, again suggesting that they are bolder than guppies reared in predictable conditions. These findings suggest that early experience is important in shaping exploratory anti shoaling behavior in this species and that unpredictability in early life can influence boldness in guppies.},
  author       = {Chapman, Ben and Morrell, Lesley J. and Krause, Jens},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {environment,unpredictable,shoaling,phenotypic plasticity,boldness,exploration},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {501--506},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Unpredictability in food supply during early life influences boldness in fish},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arq003},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2010},
}