Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (BEHAV ECOL SOCIOBIOL)

Publisher: Springer Verlag

Journal description

The journal publishes reviews and original contributions dealing with quantitative empirical and theoretical studies in the field of the analyis of animal behavior on the level of the individual population and community. Special emphasis is placed on the proximate mechanisms ultimate functions and evolution of ecological adaptations of behavior. Aspects of particular interest: Intraspecific behavioral interactions with special emphasis on social behavior Interspecific behavioral mechanisms e.g. of competition and resource partitioning mutualism predator-prey interactions parasitism Behavioral ecophysiology Orientation in space and time Relevant evolutionary and functional theory Purely descriptive material is not acceptable for publication unless it is concerned with the analysis of behavioral mechanisms or with new theory.

Current impact factor: 3.05

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 3.049
2012 Impact Factor 2.752
2011 Impact Factor 3.179
2010 Impact Factor 2.565
2009 Impact Factor 2.749
2008 Impact Factor 2.917
2007 Impact Factor 2.754
2006 Impact Factor 2.316
2005 Impact Factor 2.232
2004 Impact Factor 2.18
2003 Impact Factor 2.649
2002 Impact Factor 2.273
2001 Impact Factor 2.353
2000 Impact Factor 2.02
1999 Impact Factor 2.324
1998 Impact Factor 2.67
1997 Impact Factor 2.327
1996 Impact Factor 1.721
1995 Impact Factor 1.866
1994 Impact Factor 1.85
1993 Impact Factor 0.813
1992 Impact Factor 1.514

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 2.94
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.52
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.04
Website Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology website
Other titles Behavioral ecology and sociobiology (Online), Behav ecol sociobiol
ISSN 0340-5443
OCLC 39604965
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Author's pre-print on pre-print servers such as
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In colonial birds, criteria used for the first choice of a nest site and its temporal and spatial dynamics are rarely studied. This paper addresses first settlement of natal recruits in common terns Sterna hirundo at a stable colony site subdivided into six islands of equal size and habitat. Using extensive individual-based data of aged and sexed individuals with known recruitment age, I focus on timing of laying, island selection in relation to density and centrality, and movements after first breeding. Recruits’ laying date was timed between that of experienced and replacement breeders. The proportion of early clutches, density, and age of breeders were higher at the islands’ edge (the preferred area), whereas late clutches predominated at the center. Sixty-eight percent of recruits settled at the center and only 32 % at the islands’ edge. With advancing age, breeders shifted nest sites from the island center towards the edge. In 7 out of 18 years, annual recruit numbers were not evenly distributed among the islands. Density did not affect island selection, but in years with low numbers of recruits, their aggregation was more distinct. Recruits’ preference of a specific island rarely lasted more than 2 years. Depletion of the central area in the year after recruitment initially attracted new recruits before succeeding cohorts switched to another island. The dynamics of recruits’ settlement indicate diverging tendencies of attracting or repelling recruits at a specific subcolony, affected by group adherence and cohort size, density, and advancing laying date with age and shifts of nest sites towards the preferred subcolony periphery.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 09/2015; 69(9). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1954-5
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    ABSTRACT: In animal competition, resource holding potential (RHP) and resource value are two important factors determining the level of aggression and the outcome of contests. One valuable resource among nest-brooding animals that is subject to intense competition is a suitable nest substrate. Sand goby males (Pomatoschistus minutus) rely on finding good nest substrates, but the strategies vary between regions. We first investigated the nest size preferences in sand gobies from Kalmar Sound, a brackish area of the Baltic Sea with a shortage of suitable shells for nest construction and few invertebrate nest predators. Males expressed clear preference for larger nest substrates regardless of the male’s own size. To manipulate resource value, we provided males with large or small nests and tested if this and/or RHP affected aggression during nest defence. Resource value (a preferred large nest vs an unpreferred small nest) had no effect on aggression. However, RHP (total length of the resident male) had a significant effect. Larger males were more aggressive than smaller ones when matched against an opponent of the same size, suggesting that resident males acted according to own RHP.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 09/2015; 69(9). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1964-3
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    ABSTRACT: Elevation gradients are associated with sharp environmental clines that play a crucial role in the phenotypic diversification of animal populations. In a variety of organisms, the reproductive output of females declines with elevation in parallel to the drop in environmental productivity and shortening of the breeding season. Little evidence is available on male traits associated with reproductive activities, such as territorial defence and signalling, which may decline because of the low economic defendability of resources and the selective advantage of investing in parental rather than mating (e.g. signalling, chasing intruders) effort in such conditions. Along a broad elevational gradient, we investigated variation in the intensity of territorial defence and sexual signalling in males of the water pipit Anthus spinoletta exposed to song playbacks simulating the territorial intrusion of a conspecific. We found that birds from the lower limits of the species distribution approached song stimuli more closely than those from the upper limits. Moreover, physically challenging songs (broad frequency bandwidths and fast trills) elicited a closer approach, and low elevation birds uttered songs ending with the broadest bandwidths. Other responses to the intrusion, such as the number of songs uttered or the latency to approach, exhibited seasonal or spatial variation irrespective of elevation. This study illustrates the decline of some trait associated with aggressive territorial behaviours during male-male conflicts along elevation, and points to the allocation in sexual signalling and motor constraints to signal production, as potential mechanisms underlying it.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 09/2015; 69(9). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1961-6
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    ABSTRACT: Female choice is often assumed to be based on absolute preference, driven by a threshold value of mate attractiveness. However, increasing evidence suggests that females may instead perform a comparative evaluation of prospective mates, possibly incurring in violation of rational decision rules (e.g. independence from irrelevant alternative, IIA). A prototypical case is the ‘asymmetrically dominated decoy’ effect where the preference for a target option over a competitor is altered by the addition of an irrelevant alternative. Here, we test for this effect in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo. Females, in binary test (i.e. focal option dyad differing in body size and extension of a yellow spot), strongly preferred one of the options. The effect of decoys, asymmetrically dominating the focal options for either yellow spot extension or body size, varied according to the initially preferred trait and the decoy type. Indeed, the addition of a decoy caused a shift in preference only when the decoy exhibited the intermediate expression of the trait less preferred initially. By contrast, females did not modify their preference in the presence of the decoy for their preferred trait. Although females’ evaluation was context-dependent, the violation of IIA was clearly observed only with respect to the initially less preferred trait. This does not exclude that females are in any case using comparative decision rules. Indeed, when faced with three alternatives, two of which are proportionally closer to each other than to the third one, they might not be able to discriminate among them, perceiving stimulus absolute magnitude.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 07/2015; 69(7). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1924-y
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    ABSTRACT: Prey monitor predator movements to assess risk, as required to make escape decisions and avoid being captured unaware. For prey that exhibit behavioral signs that they have detected predators, alert distance is the predator-prey distance when the prey performs the behavior and then continuously monitors the predator’s approach. Many other prey do not usually give any indication of having detected a predator prior to fleeing. This is especially likely in prey having laterally placed eyes that are approached from one side, as in typical studies of lizards. We conducted field trials to detect overt signs of monitoring by zebra-tailed lizards, Callisaurus draconoides, which usually exhibit no signs of monitoring. When a researcher walked in an arc starting at some distance from a lizard’s side and continuing until he was directly in front of or behind it, the lizard cocked its head and/or reoriented its body or fled and then reoriented. These behaviors allowed lizards to keep the researcher in view as he passed out of a monocular visual field. The findings demonstrate that monitoring occurs in these lizards, suggest that monitoring is so important that lizards risk being detected by moving, and suggest a possible method for studying effects of alert distance in prey that do not perform alerting behaviors when approached in full view. Alerting responses have been observed infrequently in lizards because researchers are in one of the wide lateral visual fields when they start to approach. Unless the predator moves out of view, prey with limited or no binocular vision have no need for postural adjustment to focus on the predator.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1951-8
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    ABSTRACT: Several hypotheses have suggested that delayed plumage maturation (DPM) in male birds evolves to increase crypsis or to deter adult aggression towards inexperienced young males. Here, we present novel extensions of a game theory modeling framework to investigate the evolutionary mechanisms of DPM in a bird population. We reveal that increasing either the maximum survival rate or predation risk can promote the evolution of DPM. Longer life span and transferrable physical condition between breeding years show a significant mutual promotion effect on DPM evolution, and would also enable the evolution of DPM in some species with no reproductive output in year one. Our models indicate that sufficiently high investment on adult plumage is essential for the evolution of DPM, which is consistent with some previous empirical studies. Finally, we highlight the significance of condition-dependent male parental care and provide new insight into how sexual conflict over parental care between parents may influence the evolution of DPM in birds. Our results should help researchers better test the DPM delayed-investment strategy hypothesis with empirical data.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1912-2