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Individual aggression, but not winner–losereffects, predicts social rank in male domestic fowl
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4352-6275
Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 28, no 3, 874-882 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many factors can affect the probability for an individual to obtain a high social rank, including size, weaponry, and behavioral attributes

such as aggression. Recent experiences of winning or losing can also affect the chances of winning future contests, commonly

referred to as “winner–loser effects”. Individuals often differ in behavior in a consistent way, including in aggression, thereby showing

differences in personality. However, the relative importance of recent experience and aspects of personality in determining rank,

as well as the extent to which winning or losing affects aggression, has rarely been studied. Here, we investigate these questions

using male domestic fowl. We matched males for body size, comb size, and aggression in pair-wise duels to: 1) study the effect of

contest outcome on aggression and 2) compare the effect of individual aggression and contest experience on future social status in

small groups. We found that aggression was a highly repeatable personality trait and that aggression increased after winning and

decreased after losing. Nevertheless, such winner–loser effects were not enough to increase the odds of becoming dominant in a

small group. Instead, aggressiveness measured prior to a contest experience best predicted future rank. Boldness and exploration did

not predict rank and of the 2, only boldness was positively correlated with aggressiveness. We conclude that for male domestic fowl

in contests among phenotypically matched contestants, aggressiveness is more important for obtaining high rank than winner–loser

effects, or other aspects of personality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2017. Vol. 28, no 3, 874-882 p.
Keyword [en]
behavioral syndrome, Gallus gallus domesticus, personality, resource holding potential, social dominance status
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138099DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arx053ISI: 000401942800037OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138099DiVA: diva2:1106868
Note

Funding agencies: Lars Hierta Memorial Foundation [FO2012-0690]; Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry [H14-0180-CFH]; LiU programme "Future research leaders"

Available from: 2017-06-08 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2017-06-14

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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