Population-level personalities in zebrafish

Aggression-boldness across but not within populations

Emilia Martins, Anuradha Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animals exhibit personality types, for example, with some individuals being consistently both more aggressive and more willing to explore novel situations than others. Often those behavioral syndromes are shaped by pleiotropic genetic and physiological mechanisms or joint selective pressures that constrain variation within and between 2 seemingly different types of behavior. Here, we used wild zebrafish to ask whether the behavioral syndromes typically measured within populations also occur across populations, as might be expected for syndromes created by forces such as a hormone with multiple effects. We found major differences across populations in both aggression and boldness. Zebrafish captured in the wild from running streams in Northern India were both bold and aggressive, approaching predators and conspecifics more frequently than did zebrafish from slower moving irrigation canals or a large, still, lake near Kolkata, India. We did not find any sites that were bold, but not aggressive, or aggressive, but not bold, suggesting that these behavioral combinations are not physiologically possible or that they are eliminated by population-level selection. Within populations, however, we found evidence for an aggression-boldness syndrome within only 1 of 5 measured populations (from an irrigation canal). Zebrafish also became markedly more aggressive after 3 months in a laboratory environment. These results offer a natural example of population-level personality types in wild organisms and show that population-level patterns and environmental plasticity may be as important as within-population constraints. Our work also confirms that wild zebrafish offer promising insight into higher order phenomena such as clade diversification and selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

aggression
Danio rerio
hormone
plasticity
predator
animal
irrigation canals
lake
irrigation canal
India
hormones
predators
organism
laboratory
effect
lakes
organisms

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Behavioral syndrome
  • Boldness
  • Evolution
  • Population
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Population-level personalities in zebrafish : Aggression-boldness across but not within populations. / Martins, Emilia; Bhat, Anuradha.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 25, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 368-373.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{838fa6fd77f947b7b46898fec2dae393,
title = "Population-level personalities in zebrafish: Aggression-boldness across but not within populations",
abstract = "Many animals exhibit personality types, for example, with some individuals being consistently both more aggressive and more willing to explore novel situations than others. Often those behavioral syndromes are shaped by pleiotropic genetic and physiological mechanisms or joint selective pressures that constrain variation within and between 2 seemingly different types of behavior. Here, we used wild zebrafish to ask whether the behavioral syndromes typically measured within populations also occur across populations, as might be expected for syndromes created by forces such as a hormone with multiple effects. We found major differences across populations in both aggression and boldness. Zebrafish captured in the wild from running streams in Northern India were both bold and aggressive, approaching predators and conspecifics more frequently than did zebrafish from slower moving irrigation canals or a large, still, lake near Kolkata, India. We did not find any sites that were bold, but not aggressive, or aggressive, but not bold, suggesting that these behavioral combinations are not physiologically possible or that they are eliminated by population-level selection. Within populations, however, we found evidence for an aggression-boldness syndrome within only 1 of 5 measured populations (from an irrigation canal). Zebrafish also became markedly more aggressive after 3 months in a laboratory environment. These results offer a natural example of population-level personality types in wild organisms and show that population-level patterns and environmental plasticity may be as important as within-population constraints. Our work also confirms that wild zebrafish offer promising insight into higher order phenomena such as clade diversification and selection.",
keywords = "Aggression, Behavioral syndrome, Boldness, Evolution, Population, Zebrafish",
author = "Emilia Martins and Anuradha Bhat",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/beheco/aru007",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "25",
pages = "368--373",
journal = "Behavioral Ecology",
issn = "1045-2249",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Population-level personalities in zebrafish

T2 - Aggression-boldness across but not within populations

AU - Martins, Emilia

AU - Bhat, Anuradha

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Many animals exhibit personality types, for example, with some individuals being consistently both more aggressive and more willing to explore novel situations than others. Often those behavioral syndromes are shaped by pleiotropic genetic and physiological mechanisms or joint selective pressures that constrain variation within and between 2 seemingly different types of behavior. Here, we used wild zebrafish to ask whether the behavioral syndromes typically measured within populations also occur across populations, as might be expected for syndromes created by forces such as a hormone with multiple effects. We found major differences across populations in both aggression and boldness. Zebrafish captured in the wild from running streams in Northern India were both bold and aggressive, approaching predators and conspecifics more frequently than did zebrafish from slower moving irrigation canals or a large, still, lake near Kolkata, India. We did not find any sites that were bold, but not aggressive, or aggressive, but not bold, suggesting that these behavioral combinations are not physiologically possible or that they are eliminated by population-level selection. Within populations, however, we found evidence for an aggression-boldness syndrome within only 1 of 5 measured populations (from an irrigation canal). Zebrafish also became markedly more aggressive after 3 months in a laboratory environment. These results offer a natural example of population-level personality types in wild organisms and show that population-level patterns and environmental plasticity may be as important as within-population constraints. Our work also confirms that wild zebrafish offer promising insight into higher order phenomena such as clade diversification and selection.

AB - Many animals exhibit personality types, for example, with some individuals being consistently both more aggressive and more willing to explore novel situations than others. Often those behavioral syndromes are shaped by pleiotropic genetic and physiological mechanisms or joint selective pressures that constrain variation within and between 2 seemingly different types of behavior. Here, we used wild zebrafish to ask whether the behavioral syndromes typically measured within populations also occur across populations, as might be expected for syndromes created by forces such as a hormone with multiple effects. We found major differences across populations in both aggression and boldness. Zebrafish captured in the wild from running streams in Northern India were both bold and aggressive, approaching predators and conspecifics more frequently than did zebrafish from slower moving irrigation canals or a large, still, lake near Kolkata, India. We did not find any sites that were bold, but not aggressive, or aggressive, but not bold, suggesting that these behavioral combinations are not physiologically possible or that they are eliminated by population-level selection. Within populations, however, we found evidence for an aggression-boldness syndrome within only 1 of 5 measured populations (from an irrigation canal). Zebrafish also became markedly more aggressive after 3 months in a laboratory environment. These results offer a natural example of population-level personality types in wild organisms and show that population-level patterns and environmental plasticity may be as important as within-population constraints. Our work also confirms that wild zebrafish offer promising insight into higher order phenomena such as clade diversification and selection.

KW - Aggression

KW - Behavioral syndrome

KW - Boldness

KW - Evolution

KW - Population

KW - Zebrafish

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84898754713&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84898754713&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/beheco/aru007

DO - 10.1093/beheco/aru007

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 368

EP - 373

JO - Behavioral Ecology

JF - Behavioral Ecology

SN - 1045-2249

IS - 2

ER -