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Multidimensionality of behavioural phenotypes in Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua
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2012 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 106, no 4, 462-470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Much of the inter-individual variation observed in animal behaviour is now attributed to the existence of behavioural phenotypes or animal personalities. Such phenotypes may be fundamental to fisheries and aquaculture, yet there have been few detailed studies of this phenomenon in exploited marine animals. We investigated the behavioural and neuroendocrine responses of Atlantic cod (Gad us morhua L), to situations reflecting critical ecological challenges: predator attacks and territorial challenges. Both hatchery-reared and wild fish were tested and behavioural profiles were compared with baseline conditions. We then used an objective, multivariate approach, rather than assigning individuals along one-dimensional behavioural axes, to examine whether distinct behavioural phenotypes were present. Our results indicate that two distinct behavioural phenotypes were evident in fish from each background. In hatchery-reared fish, phenotypes displayed divergent locomotor activity, sheltering, brain monoamine concentrations and responses to competitive challenges. In wild fish, phenotypes were distinguished primarily by locomotor activity, sheltering and responsiveness to predator stimuli. Hatcheries presumably represent a more stressful social environment, and social behaviour and neuroendocrine responses were important in discerning behavioural phenotypes in hatchery fish, whereas antipredator responses were important in discerning phenotypes in wild fish that have previously encountered predators. In both fish types, behavioural and physiological traits that classified individuals into phenotypes were not the same as those that were correlated across situations These results highlight the multidimensionality of animal personalities, and that the processes that regulate one suite of behavioural traits may be very different to the processes that regulate other behaviours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 106, no 4, 462-470 p.
Keyword [en]
Behavioural syndromes, Temperament, Monoamines, Fisheries, Aquaculture
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178478DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.03.010ISI: 000305100300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178478DiVA: diva2:542497
Available from: 2012-08-01 Created: 2012-07-31 Last updated: 2012-08-01Bibliographically approved

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Winberg, Svante
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