Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 386–395

Adaptive peaks and alternative foraging tactics in brook charr: evidence of short-term divergent selection for sitting-and-waiting and actively searching

  • Robert L. McLaughlin
  • Moira M. Ferguson
  • David L. G. Noakes
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s002650050575

Cite this article as:
McLaughlin, R., Ferguson, M. & Noakes, D. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1999) 45: 386. doi:10.1007/s002650050575

Abstract

Some recently emerged brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) inhabiting still-water pools along the sides of streams are sedentary and eat crustaceans from the lower portion of the water column. Others are more active and eat insects from the upper portion of the water column. We provide evidence that this divergent foraging behavior reflects short-term divergent selection brought about by intraspecific competition in the presence of alternative food sources. Rates of encounters and interactions between individuals were density dependent, and encounter and interaction events were closely timed with prey capture attempts. In addition, aggressive fish made more foraging attempts per minute than nonaggressive fish. Aggressive fish were also either inactive or very active, while nonaggressive fish exhibited intermediate levels of activity. Growth rate potential, an important component of fitness during the early life stages of brook charr, was assessed using tissue concentrations of RNA and found to be highest for sedentary fish and for active fish making frequent foraging attempts, and lower for fish exhibiting intermediate levels of activity. Our findings support contentions that individual behavior plays an important role during initial steps in the evolution of resource polymorphisms.

Key words Charr Divergent selection Fish growth Foraging tactics Resource polymorphism 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Moira M. Ferguson
    • 1
  • David L. G. Noakes
    • 1
  1. 1.Axelrod Institute of Ichthyology and Department of Zoology University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada e-mail: rlmclaug@uoguelph.ca Tel.: +1-519-8244120, Fax: +1-519-7633906CA

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