Oecologia

, Volume 176, Issue 3, pp 771–779 | Cite as

Does social status within a dominance hierarchy mediate individual growth, residency and relocation?

  • Abbas Akbaripasand
  • Martin Krkosek
  • P. Mark Lokman
  • Gerard P. Closs
Population ecology - Original research

Abstract

The availability of food, and hence energy, is known to influence the abundance, habitat choice and growth of individuals. In contrast, there is a paucity of knowledge on how the interaction of energy supply and social status determines patterns of residency and movement. This study tests whether the presence of conspecifics and an individual’s social status in relation to food supply influence the fitness and movement of a drift-feeding fish (Galaxias fasciatus). Using an information-theoretic approach (AIC), our analysis indicated that the most parsimonious model of fish movement among pools was one that included food supply, social rank and fish relative growth rate. Our results indicated that subordinate fish relocated more frequently compared to dominant fish, most likely as a consequence of intra-specific competition that limited the access of these smaller fish to resources and constrained their growth. Our results suggest that energy constraints may force individuals to explore new habitats in an effort to find more energetically profitable patches. We conclude that intra-specific competition mediated through the social hierarchy amongst closely interacting individuals plays a key role in determining individual growth, residency and relocation.

Keywords

Dominance hierarchy Freshwater fish Individual fitness Interference competition Movement 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abbas Akbaripasand
    • 1
  • Martin Krkosek
    • 2
  • P. Mark Lokman
    • 1
  • Gerard P. Closs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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