Behavioral and respiratory responses to stressors in multiple populations of three-spined sticklebacks that differ in predation pressure

Alison M. Bell, Lindsay Henderson, Felicity A. Huntingford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individual animals of the same species inhabiting environments which differ in the frequency and magnitude of stressors often exhibit different physiological and behavioral responses to stressors. Here, we compare the respiratory response to confinement stress, and behavioral responses to ecologically relevant challenges among sticklebacks from 11 different populations varying in predation pressure. We found that sticklebacks from high predation populations breathed faster in response to confinement stress and were, on an average, more behaviorally responsive to a pike behind glass compared with sticklebacks from low predation populations. These patterns differ from the results of studies on other species, highlighting the need for a conceptual framework to understand the proximate and ultimate factors shaping variable responses to stressors over developmental and evolutionary time. Moreover, physiological and behavioral responses were integrated with each other, both at the individual and population levels. In general, fish that were more aggressive and bold in the presence of a predator breathed faster, independent of body size. These results are consistent with the growing body of evidence that individuals differ in a suite of physiological and behavioral mechanisms for coping with challenges in the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Volume180
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Antipredator behavior
  • Behavioral syndrome
  • Geographic variation
  • Personality
  • Ventilation rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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