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Stability of physiological and behavioural determinants of performance in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)

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The physiological and behavioural mechanisms that confer behavioural dominance are poorly understood. Although recent studies have shown a link between metabolism and dominance, these studies relied on single measurements of both, and assumed that inter-individual variation of physiology and behaviour were repeatable over time. This paper demonstrates that standard metabolic rate is a repeatable trait in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.) and that relative differences between individuals are consistent across a range of environmental conditions. Furthermore, there were positive associations between metabolic rate, aggression, and competitive ability that were also repeatable over time. However, there was no relationship between competitive ability (measured as feeding attempts) and subsequent growth. This may be due to an energetic cost of dominance: high rates of food capture were only attainable through high rates of effort. This, in addition to elevated aggression, was thought to exert an energetic cost that could not be fully offset by the increased food intake.

Les mécanismes physiologiques et comportementaux qui procurent la dominance dans les comportements restent mal connus. Bien que des études récentes aient établi un lien entre le métabolisme et la dominance, ces études se basent sur des mesures individuelles des deux facteurs et elles supposent que la variation de la physiologie et du comportement entre les individus se maintient dans le temps. On trouvera ici une démonstration que le taux de métabolisme standard chez l'Omble chevalier (Salvelinus alpinus L.) est une caractéristique stable et que les différences relatives entre les individus se maintiennent sur une gamme étendue de conditions du milieu. De plus, il existe des associations positives entre le taux du métabolisme, l'agression et la compétitivité qui se maintiennent dans le temps. Cependant, il n'y a pas de relation entre la compétitivité (telle que mesurée en nombre de tentatives d'alimentation) et la croissance subséquente. Cela peut sans doute s'expliquer par le coût énergétique relié à la dominance: en effet, de forts taux de capture de nourriture ne s'atteignent que par des taux élevés d'effort. S'ajoutant à une agression plus grande, cela entraîne un coût énergétique important qui ne peut être entièrement compensé par l'ingestion accrue de nourriture.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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