Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Correlated behaviour and stress physiology in fish exposed to different levels of predation pressure

Archard, Gabrielle A., Earley, Ryan L, Hanninen, Amanda F. and Braithwaite, Victoria 2012. Correlated behaviour and stress physiology in fish exposed to different levels of predation pressure. Functional Ecology 26 (3) , pp. 637-645. 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2012.01968.x

Full text not available from this repository.


1. Natural selection can generate correlated suites of phenotypic traits by acting independently on physiological and behavioural characters or on mechanisms that exert pleiotropic actions. 2. Current theory, supported by artificial selection studies, suggests that physiological and behavioural stress responses are at least partially under genetic control and covary in a predictable manner. Indeed, physiological mechanisms such as hormonal stress responsiveness may underlie variation in behaviour, including consistent behaviours described as temperament or personality, with bolder, more exploratory and active individuals being less hormonally responsive to stressors. 3. This relationship, however, has yet to be demonstrated in natural populations. We investigated the relationship between hormonal and behavioural stress responsiveness in multiple natural populations of a tropical freshwater poeciliid fish, Brachyrhaphis episcopi, that experience different levels of predation pressure and hence encounter different rates of stressful events. Predation can impose a strong selection pressure, and living with a high risk of predation is known to select for specific behavioural traits. 4. We quantified variation in stress responsiveness via cortisol release rates (exp. 1) and behaviour in an open field test followed by cortisol release rates (exp. 2). Populations exposed to high levels of predation were consistently more exploratory and active and had lower release rates of cortisol in response to a stressor than conspecifics sampled at sites with few predators. 5. However, this difference in stress responsiveness was only apparent after fish had experienced the mild stress of behaviour testing (in exp. 2), which resulted in elevation of cortisol levels. The relationship between hormone release and behaviour was also not apparent within populations once independent factors were controlled for, highlighting the importance of factors such as size and sex on individual variability. 6. This study demonstrates that the relationship between hormonal and behavioural stress responsiveness can result from natural selection pressures, such as that imposed by predation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Uncontrolled Keywords: coping style; cortisol; open field trial; personality; pleiotropy; predation pressure; stress response;temperament;trait correlations
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0269-8463
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 10:44

Citation Data

Cited 29 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Cited 62 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item