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  • 1.
    Friesen, Christopher R.
    et al.
    University of Sydney, Australia; Oregon State University, OR 97330 USA.
    Uhrig, Emily
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Oregon State University, OR 97330 USA.
    Bentz, Ehren J.
    Oregon State University, OR 97330 USA.
    Blakemore, Leslie A.
    Oregon State University, OR 97330 USA.
    Mason, Robert T.
    Oregon State University, OR 97330 USA.
    Correlated evolution of sexually selected traits: interspecific variation in ejaculates, sperm morphology, copulatory mate guarding, and body size in two sympatric species of garter snakes2017In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 71, no 12, article id UNSP 180Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Male reproductive success is dependent on a correlated suite of traits related to a species ecology and mating system dynamics. Closely related species differing in their mating systems and ecology, such as the garter snakes (Thamnophis), are ideal for studying the correlated evolution of sexually selected traits. Here, we compare the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD), copulatory behavior, copulatory plug size, and traits associated with sperm competition between two sympatric and closely related Thamnophis species, T. sirtalis and T. radix with divergent mating aggregation size and density. Our findings indicate that T. sirtalis has greater female-biased SSD, shorter copulations, and larger, more strongly adhering copulatory plugs than T. radix. Our finding that T. sirtalis have longer sperm and higher numbers of sperm per ejaculate is further evidence of more intense sperm competition in this species than in T. radix. However, this reduced number of sperm in the ejaculate means that T. radix males are likely capable of more matings per season than T. sirtalis. This result may reflect differences in feeding during the breeding season (obligate aphagy in T. sirtalis) and the potential for sperm loss in T. radix during prolonged copulations that are prevented in T. sirtlais by their substantial copulatory plugs. Our findings demonstrate that ecological and mating system dynamics have the capacity to strongly influence correlated selection of pre- and postcopulatory traits.

  • 2.
    Naslund, Joacim
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden; University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.
    Saarinen Claesson, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Johnsson, Jorgen I.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Performance of wild brown trout in relation to energetic state and lab-scored activity during the early-life survival bottleneck2017In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 71, no 11, article id UNSP 165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The early life stage is typically a selective bottleneck during which individual performance is important for survival. We investigated size, energetic state, and activity, in relation to recapture probability in the youngest free-swimming stage of a territorial fish, the brown trout. In two experiments, we induced compensatory growth in wild-caught brown trout fry, using a restriction-refeeding protocol. Upon refeeding in the laboratory, the restricted trout showed compensatory growth in mass, but not in length. During this compensatory growth phase, we released the fish into their native stream habitat and then recaptured them after 1 month to assess survival and growth. Despite not having fully compensated body size at release, restricted fish did not show continued growth compensation in the stream, indicating that the natural environment limits growth capacity during early life. Individual baseline activity was scored in open-field tests before and after food restriction and was found repeatable but not significantly affected by growth manipulations. Under natural conditions, we found a positive association between open-field activity and survival (as indicated by recapture probability), but no significant differences between food-restricted and control fish. Initial body length positively influenced survival in the first experiment (early summer), but not in the second (late summer). These results contrast with the assumption that high baseline activity should be riskier in natural environments. For territorial animals, we hypothesize that activity is associated with high aggression and territoriality, which facilitates access to high-quality territories providing both shelter from predation and reduced starvation risk, which reduces mortality risk. Significance statement In the early critical life stage, more active brown trout are better survivors. This finding, which contradicts general assumptions about the balance between predator exposure and food intake, could possibly be due to trout being highly territorial species in which active individuals can claim the best territories. We also find that young trout are likely limited in growth rate by environmental conditions in the wild, as growth compensation following food restriction is possible in the lab, but not realized in natural streams.

  • 3.
    Petkova, Irina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Royal Holloway Univ London, England.
    Abbey-Lee, Robin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lovlie, Hanne
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Parasite infection and host personality: Glugea-infected three-spined sticklebacks are more social2018In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 72, no 11, article id UNSP 173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The existence of animal personality is now well-documented, although the causes and consequences of this phenomenon are still largely unclear. Parasite infection can have pervasive effects on hosts, including altering host behaviour, and may thus contribute to differences in host personality. We investigated the relationship between the three-spined stickleback and its common parasite Glugea anomala, with focus on differences in host personality. Naturally infected and uninfected individuals were assayed for the five personality traits activity, exploration, boldness, sociability, and aggression. If infected fish behaved differently from uninfected, to benefit this parasite with horizontal transmission, we predicted behaviour increasing interactions with other sticklebacks to increase. Infection status explained differences in host personality. Specifically, Glugea-infected individuals were more social than uninfected fish. This confirms a link between parasite infection and host behaviour, and a relationship which may improve the horizontal transmission of Glugea. However, future studies need to establish the consequences of this for the parasite, and the causality of the parasite-host personality relationship. Significance statement Parasite infection that alters host behaviour could be a possible avenue of research into the causes of animal personality. We studied the link between infection and personality using the three-spined stickleback and its parasite Glugea anomala. We predicted that infected individuals would be more prone to interact with other sticklebacks, since this would improve transmission of this parasite. The personality of uninfected and naturally infected fish was measured and we observed that Glugea-infected sticklebacks were more social. Our results confirm a link between parasitism and variation in host personality.

  • 4.
    Zidar, Josefina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Balogh, Alexandra
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Stockholm Univ, Sweden.
    Favati, Anna
    Stockholm Univ, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Leimar, Olof
    Stockholm Univ, Sweden.
    Sorato, Enrico
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lovlie, Hanne
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    The relationship between learning speed and personality is age- and task-dependent in red junglefowl2018In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 72, no 10, article id UNSP 168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cognition is fundamental to animals lives and an important source of phenotypic variation. Nevertheless, research on individual variation in animal cognition is still limited. Further, although individual cognitive abilities have been suggested to be linked to personality (i.e., consistent behavioral differences among individuals), few studies have linked performance across multiple cognitive tasks to personality traits. Thus, the interplays between cognition and personality are still unclear. We therefore investigated the relationships between an important aspect of cognition, learning, and personality, by exposing young and adult red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) to multiple learning tasks (discriminative, reversal, and spatial learning) and personality assays (novel arena, novel object, and tonic immobility). Learning speed was not correlated across learning tasks, and learning speed in discrimination and spatial learning tasks did not co-vary with personality. However, learning speed in reversal tasks was associated with individual variation in exploration, and in an age-dependent manner. More explorative chicks learned the reversal task faster than less explorative ones, while the opposite association was found for adult females (learning speed could not be assayed in adult males). In the same reversal tasks, we also observed a sex difference in learning speed of chicks, with females learning faster than males. Our results suggest that the relationship between cognition and personality is complex, as shown by its task- and age-dependence, and encourage further investigation of the causality and dynamics of this relationship.Significance statementIn the ancestor of todays chickens, the red junglefowl, we explored how personality and cognition relate by exposing both chicks and adults to several learning tasks and personality assays. Our birds differed in personality and learning speed, while fast learners in one task did not necessarily learn fast in another (i.e., there were no overall smarter birds). Exploration correlated with learning speed in the more complex task of reversal learning: faster exploring chicks, but slower exploring adult females, learned faster, compared to less explorative birds. Other aspects of cognition and personality did not correlate. Our results suggest that cognition and personality are related, and that the relationship can differ depending on task and age of the animal.

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