Temperament in bullheads: do laboratory and field explorative behaviour variables correlate?
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Die Naturwissenschaften / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften [München] - Berlin
, p. 1229-1233
University of Antwerp
The relevance of temperament traits for life history strategy or productivity is increasingly acknowledged. Temperament traits are often either observed in captivity or in the wild, but studies combining both observations are very rare. We examine whether exploratory behaviour in the bullhead (Cottus perifretum), assayed under laboratory conditions, predicts this behaviour under field conditions. Forty-three PIT-tagged individuals were first assayed for exploration of a novel environment in the aquarium and then released into an unfamiliar stream stretch, where they were later relocated using a mobile antenna. Explorative behaviour assayed in the laboratory was significantly positively related to the exploration in the field, thus predicting distance moved in the field release. Both in the laboratory and in the field, explorative behaviour was not related to individual body length. When bullheads that did not leave the refuge in the aquarium (laboratory assay) and, therefore, did not explore the new environment were excluded from the analysis, the correlation between laboratory and field explorative behaviour variables became weaker. However, overall, our results illustrate that exploration rate of bullheads in isolated single-individual experiments can be used to predict this behaviour in the natural ecosystem.