Boldness in extreme environments: temperament divergence in a desert-dwelling fish

Nicholas Moran, Krystina D. Mossop, Ross THOMPSON, Bob B.M. Wong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Investigating how environmental factors influence within-species trait variability is critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of individual behavioural differences (i.e. temperament or personality), and their integration into wider ecological theory. Populations of Australian desert gobies, Chlamydogobius eremius, from starkly contrasting aquatic environments in arid Australia were used to investigate how environmental differences influence temperament traits. Focusing on boldness and exploration, fish were assessed using novel environment, dispersal and novel food item assays under laboratory conditions. The results of these experiments were analysed for repeatability and for patterns of divergence within and between populations. We found consistent within-species differences in novel environment and novel food item assays, with refuge emergence and inspection latency of a novel food item both strongly repeatable behavioural axes. Although both traits can be considered measures of boldness, refuge emergence significantly diverged according to sex, while inspection latency was predicted by habitat differences. This suggests that multiple measures of boldness are diverging independently according to different ecological drivers. Specifically, we found that fish caught from environments without predators and with probable intense intraspecific competition are less active and bolder in a novel food item context. Further analysis demonstrated how extreme habitat differences are driving behavioural divergence on multiple axes, relating to boldness and dispersal behaviours. This provides valuable insights into how the environment and behaviour interact and how we define temperament traits, as well as highlighting the importance of studying temperament within a community ecology context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-133
    Number of pages9
    JournalAnimal Behaviour
    Volume122
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    temperament
    novel foods
    deserts
    desert
    divergence
    fish
    refuge
    assay
    dispersal behavior
    community ecology
    ecological theory
    intraspecific competition
    assays
    habitat
    aquatic environment
    habitats
    interspecific variation
    repeatability
    environmental factor
    predator

    Cite this

    Moran, Nicholas ; Mossop, Krystina D. ; THOMPSON, Ross ; Wong, Bob B.M. / Boldness in extreme environments: temperament divergence in a desert-dwelling fish. In: Animal Behaviour. 2016 ; Vol. 122. pp. 125-133.
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    Boldness in extreme environments: temperament divergence in a desert-dwelling fish. / Moran, Nicholas; Mossop, Krystina D.; THOMPSON, Ross; Wong, Bob B.M.

    In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 122, 2016, p. 125-133.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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