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: 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
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    ABSTRACT: Large males of the soldier beetle, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Cantharidae), exercise choice for larger females in the field and laboratory. The length of copulation limits the maximum mating rate to once per day. This may afford more competitive males the opportunity to reject females early in the day without significantly reducing their mating rate. Males copulate if they secure evasive females. Body size correlates with the abilities of males to secure females, and of females to evade males. Thus, agonistic courtship gives larger males a mating advantage and may ensure the availability of larger females late into the daily courtship period. Also, larger males spend more time searching for mates and courting than do smaller males which could increase their likelihood of encountering and mating a large female, even after rejecting a smaller one. Stochastic simulations of agonistic courtship indicate that the benefits of male choice are limited to larger males, who are more likely to successfully court a female after having rejected one. Simulations also indicate that strong assortative mating, as observed in the field, requires male choice in combination with agonistic courtship. Both males and females benefit from larger mates, as the fecundity of females is a function of both their own size and the size of their mates. Thus, strong assortative mating magnifies the fecundity advantage of large females through mate effects on fecundity.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6):883-894. DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1900-6
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    ABSTRACT: In nests of birds parasitized by a larger non-evicting brood parasite, host chicks typically are at disadvantage in competing for food and often starve. However, when host chicks are larger, they may benefit from the presence of the parasite, which contributes to the net brood begging signal but cannot monopolize the food brought to the nest. Here, we show that, despite a higher begging intensity, great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) did not outcompete larger size carrion crow (Corvus corone corone) nestlings. Furthermore, cuckoos’ exaggerated begging allowed crow nest mates to decrease their begging intensity without negative consequences on food intake. Assuming an energetic cost to chicks of begging intensely, our results suggest that crow chicks sharing the nest with a cuckoo may obtain an advantage that should be weighed against the loss of indirect fitness due to parasitism.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1895-z
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    ABSTRACT: While female preferences may vary depending on population-level differences in density or sex ratio, factors affecting mate choice may act at the individual level, i.e., females may encounter males with varying frequency or encounter multiple males simultaneously. The “socially cued anticipatory plasticity” hypothesis suggests that females may bias mate preferences based on prior experience. In the wolf spider, Schizocosa ocreata, males typically mature before females, allowing females to experience male courtship before maturation. Using video playback, we simulated differences in the encounter rate and the number of males simultaneously encountered to examine effects on female preference for a secondary sexual character (foreleg tufts). Penultimate females were exposed to video playback of zero, one, or three courting males either once every 2 days (low encounter rate) or twice per day (high encounter rate). At adulthood (week 2 post-maturity), females were presented video playback of courting males with small or large tufts to test for preferences in no-choice and two-choice designs. In two-choice (but not no-choice) presentations, female receptivity varied significantly with treatment. Females exposed to three males simultaneously at a higher encounter rate during their penultimate stage exhibited greater receptivity to large-tufted than small-tufted males as adults. Subsequent analyses revealed that females were more selective as adults if they encountered cumulatively more males during their penultimate stage, which was a repeatable trend when re-testing some individuals 3 weeks later. This study adds to the growing literature that demonstrates that invertebrates exhibit plasticity in mating preferences depending on social experience.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1904-2
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioural differences between individuals that are consistent over time or across context are termed behavioural types or personalities. Social spiders are an emerging model for studying animal personality in social systems and our study was motivated by the lack of work examining the persistence of personality in the long-term and under changed conditions. We examined consistency and plasticity in two key behaviours, prey capture and web maintenance, and tested for the presence of a behavioural syndrome between them in the social spider, Stegodyphus sarasinorum. Our experiments over a large part of the adult life span show that not all spiders capture prey, suggesting behavioural consistency with implications for task differentiation. Through prey manipulation experiments, we further probed the role of hunger, proximity to prey, body weight and number of days into the experiment on individual propensity to capture prey. Our results demonstrate that under altered prey availability, responses of individuals are plastic and influenced by hunger. These results suggest that behavioural consistency can be modulated significantly by extrinsic factors. In contrast, we did not find consistent differences between individuals in their participation during web maintenance. Additionally, we did not find a behavioural syndrome. Together, these results suggest a scenario of quasi-specialisation in which there is no strict partitioning of tasks. For the first time, our results demonstrate behavioural consistency over extended periods of time in social spiders and have implications for colony efficiency and survival. We argue that studies spanning ecologically relevant time periods and environmental variation can reveal the full extent of behavioural consistency and flexibility.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1915-z
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    ABSTRACT: There has been much recent interest in both public information use, and the evolutionary origins and ecological consequences of animal personalities but surprisingly little integration of these two fields. Personality traits may impact upon the extent to which individuals respond to public information in a number of different ways. As a first step towards addressing some of these questions, in this study, we asked whether personality traits predicted public information use in ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius). Over a 33-day period, subjects were scored twice for a number of behavioural traits, including measures of activity, exploration and shoaling tendency, and were exposed multiple times to a public information use foraging task, in which they were required to select the richer of two prey patches based upon the foraging success of two demonstrator groups. The repeatable (r = 0.38–0.58) behavioural traits were reduced to two principle components describing space use and sociability. Neither of these was found to be related to either of two measures of public information use. While the personality traits that we considered did not co-vary with public information use in this species, they may well indirectly affect opportunity for exposure to public information, and this is an obvious avenue for further research.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1901-5
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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide urbanization continues to present new selection pressures on organisms. Carotenoid pigmentation of animals provides an ideal study system for identifying the source and significance of urban impacts because it is an environmentally derived trait and carotenoid molecules have widespread physiological, phenotypic, and fitness functions. Prior work indicates that in some bird species, urban individuals display less colorful carotenoid ornaments than rural birds. However, few studies have experimentally identified the causal factors that drive such a pattern of reduced “sexiness in the city”. We performed two common-garden experiments with house finches, in which we manipulated carotenoid access and exposure to oxidative stress to understand how urban and desert birds respond to these drivers of carotenoid utilization. Urban finches were less colorful than desert birds at capture, but we found no differences between urban and desert finches in how carotenoid provisioning or oxidative stress affected plumage coloration. The only notable site differences in our experiments were that (a) the oxidative challenge caused a larger mass loss in urban compared to desert birds (experiment 1), (b) urban birds circulated higher levels of carotenoids than desert birds after receiving the same diet for 4 months (experiment 2), suggesting that, compared to desert birds, urban finches can better assimilate carotenoids from food or do not deplete as many carotenoids for use in free-radical scavenging. Overall, our results fail to reveal key carotenoid-specific physiological differences in urban and desert finches, and instead implicate other ecophysiological factors that drive urban/desert differences in carotenoid ornamentation.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 06/2015; 69(6). DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1908-y
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    ABSTRACT: Many social animals cooperatively process information during decision making, allowing them to concentrate on the best of several options. However, positive feedback created by information sharing can also lock the group into a suboptimal outcome if option quality changes over time. This creates a trade-off between consensus and flexibility, whose resolution depends on the information-sharing mechanisms groups employ. We investigated the influence of communication behavior on decision flexibility in nest site choice by colonies of the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. These ants divide their emigration into two distinct phases separated by a quorum rule. In the first phase, scouts recruit nestmates to promising sites using the slow method of tandem running. Once a site's population surpasses a quorum, they switch to the faster method of social transport. We gave colonies a choice between two sites of different quality, and then switched site quality at different points during the emigration. Before the quorum was met, colonies were able to switch their choice to the newly superior site, but once they began to transport, their flexibility dropped significantly. Close observation of single ants revealed that transporters were more likely than tandem leaders to continue recruiting to a site even after its quality was diminished. That is, tandem leaders continued to monitor the quality of the site, while transporters instead fully committed to the site without further assessment. We discuss how this change in commitment with quorum attainment may enhance the rapid achievement of consensus needed for nest site selection, but at a cost in flexibility once the quorum is met.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 05/2015; 69(5):707-714. DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1882-4
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    ABSTRACT: In small mammals, huddling appears as an efficient response to low temperature with important consequences in energy saving, which in turn affect individual fitness. It has been proposed that this behavior is a self-organized process. However, to prove self-organization, it is necessary to study the dynamics of huddling, ruling out the presence of leaders. The objectives of this study were to determine the dynamics of huddling at different temperatures in Octodon degus, documenting the presence or absence of leaders, and to study the consistency of this behavior in two contrasting seasons. We found that huddling dynamics did not indicate the presence of leader initiators of the clustering at lower temperatures. There was no deterministic pattern in huddling dynamics, in any period or at any temperature, suggesting a behavior triggered spontaneously without any order, hierarchy, or recipes. The effect of temperature on huddling behavior was marked and similar in both seasons. The variability of the huddled groups was greater at higher temperatures, which is explained by a greater movement of individuals and more frequent variations in the number and size of the groups at higher temperatures. The results describe huddling as a self-organized behavior, more economical than other physiological processes and therefore preserved by natural selection. This increases its importance for survival and fitness given the significant reduction in energy expenditure achieved under conditions of low temperatures and reduced availability of food, such as during the breeding season of O. degus.
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 05/2015; 69(5):787-794. DOI:10.1007/s00265-015-1894-0