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Behavioural types and ecological effects in a natural population of the cooperative cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher

Title data

Witsenburg, Fardo ; Schürch, Roger ; Otti, Oliver ; Heg, Dik:
Behavioural types and ecological effects in a natural population of the cooperative cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher.
In: Animal Behaviour. Vol. 80 (October 2010) Issue 4 . - pp. 757-767.
ISSN 0003-3472

Abstract in another language

The ecological relevance of behavioural syndromes is little studied in cooperative breeding systems where it is assumed that the behavioural type might influence individual decisions on helping and dispersal (e.g. shy, nonaggressive and nonexplorative individuals remain philopatric and helpful, whereas bold, aggressive, explorative individuals compete for vacancies outside their group and disperse). We measured the behavioural type of 19 subordinates in the cooperatively breeding cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher in their natural environment by quantifying six behavioural traits up to four times ('trials') in three different contexts, by presenting them with a conspecific intruder, a predator or nothing inside a tube. We found only moderate within-context repeatability (intraclass correlation coefficients) of the focal individual's behaviour, except for attacking either the conspecific or the predator inside the tube. The focal individual's attack rate of the tube was also positively affected by its group size. Averaging traits per context removed the between-trial variation, and consequently the across-context repeatability was very high for all six traits, except for territory maintenance. Trait values depended significantly on the context, except for territory defence. Consequently, individuals could be classified into different behavioural types based on their reaction towards the tube, but surprisingly, and opposite to laboratory studies in this species, ranging propensity and territory maintenance were not included in this behavioural syndrome. We suggest that more studies are needed to compare standardized focal personality tests (e.g. exploration propensity) with actual behaviour observed in nature (e.g. ranging and dispersal). (C) 2010 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER111921
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
Date Deposited: 04 May 2015 11:44
Last Modified: 04 May 2015 11:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/10863