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: 2.35

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 2.35
2013 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 2.93
Cited half-life >10.0
Immediacy index 0.59
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 1.02
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

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Behavioral plasticity may allow organisms to respond adaptively to reduced food availability caused by climate change, facilitating population persistence. Conversely, inflexible parental roles may constrain sex-specific parental investment and amplify reduced reproductive fitness during nutritional stress. We examined chick-provisioning rates of transponder-tagged female and male eastern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome filholi) using an automated gateway on Campbell Island, New Zealand in a year of good diet quality and a poor year of nutritional stress. All seven species of Eudyptes penguins are unique in exhibiting canalized parental roles during the first 3–4 weeks of chick-rearing: males fast while guarding chicks provisioned exclusively by females. In the remaining 5–6 weeks before fledging, chicks form crèches and are typically fed by both parents. Each species of Eudyptes is also “vulnerable” or “endangered”, generally because of long-term population declines linked to climate-induced nutritional stress. We hypothesized that the unique role division of Eudyptes penguins contributes to their sensitivity to nutritional stress. We found that chick growth was strongly positively correlated with total provisioning rate. Both sexes made longer foraging trips and provisioned less often under nutritional stress, but males decreased their investment in chick-provisioning more than females by making extra-long self-feeding trips early in the crèche period. We show that Eudyptes chicks would be fed more often if the sexes shared all chick-provisioning, especially under nutritional stress. We conclude that the canalized division of labor strategy of Eudyptes penguins is maladapted to more frequent years of nutritional stress under climate change.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The immune system is an important defence against pathogens but requires resources that hosts may also use otherwise. Thus, trade-offs between investment in immunity versus other life-history traits may exist, especially during resource-demanding periods such as reproduction. Here, we investigated the potential trade-off between an activated immune system and parental care in free-living great tits. We also studied whether variation in baseline immune indices prior to immunization contributes to individual differences in the responses to an immune challenge. To this end, we injected free-living great tit females with either phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or with bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) when nestlings were 9 days old and subsequently recorded parental feeding rates. We quantified potential fitness consequences via the growth and survival of their nestlings. Exposure to LPS tended to decrease female feeding rates. However, nestling body mass was not affected by the maternal immune challenge, probably because males compensated for the change in feeding rate of their partner. We found a negative relationship between haptoglobin levels and female feeding rates pre-treatment, but not with any of the other innate immune traits. Although there was substantial variation in female innate immune indices, we found no evidence that baseline immunity affected how females reacted to an immune challenge in terms of changes in parental behaviour.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Division of labor (DOL) in the social insects is one of nature’s most derived examples of phenotypic plasticity. Here, we explore the regulatory genomics of DOL in honey bees using RNA-Seq between nurses and foragers for eight tissues. We begin to test the hypothesis that caste-specific gene expression may be controlled in a manner analogous to how sex-specific gene expression is controlled. Specifically, we look for candidate master caste regulators that could play a role in controlling caste-specific gene expression analogous to the role played by double sex in sex-specific gene expression. We make significant first steps towards testing this hypothesis by showing that only a small number of regulatory genes show widespread differential expression across many tissues and are thus candidates for genes that could coordinate widespread patterns of gene expression in response to endocrine signals responsive to social needs. Two strong candidates are kruppel homolog-1 and double sex. Double sex, in particular, has previously been associated with sex linked phenotypic plasticity in other insects and is a promising candidate for future work. In addition to testing this primary hypothesis, we also show that the control of DOL has a complex genetic basis such that the same regulatory genes are used repeatedly in different tissues at the same caste transition in an independent manner. We further show that most regulatory genes only show differential expression in a single tissue. Overall, this study suggests candidate genes for the key regulators of social behavior in honey bees.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Although counterintuitive at first sight, filial cannibalism is common in the animal kingdom and has been recognized as a mechanism to increase the cannibalizing parent’s lifetime reproductive success. However, previous evidence is often inconclusive and the adaptiveness of filial cannibalism is still not fully understood. We here address the notion that parents do not cannibalize at random but preferably consume offspring with a particular phenotype. To assess if differences in developmental stage and thus reproductive value of eggs trigger such selectivity, we experimentally presented male common gobies (Pomatoschistus microps) with two differently aged egg clutches within mixed broods. We found that males consumed significantly more young than old eggs. This result indicates that parents are not only able to discriminate between eggs based on developmental stage, but might use this to reduce the cost of partial filial cannibalism by selectively removing eggs of lower reproductive value.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Movement of individuals throughout a landscape is fundamental to a wide array of ecological processes; however, the interacting spatiotemporal effects of environmental influences on movement remain poorly understood. Using a series of mesocosm trials, we examined relationships between local abiotic and biotic variables and movement patterns of the blackspotted topminnow, Fundulus olivaceus, using passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. In one series of trials, we assessed the influence of local population factors (density, sex ratio) and phenotypic variables (growth, condition) on movement rates across seasons (spawning, nonspawning). Movement was strongly influenced by different factors seasonally, and movement rates were approximately 7.5 times higher in the spawning season compared to nonspawning periods. Males moved more than females and movement was greater in low-density treatments; however, these patterns persisted only during the spawning period. In a second series of trials, we examined abiotic (habitat complexity) and biotic (predator; Micropterus punctulatus) influences on the movement dynamics and habitat usage of F. olivaceus. Predators were found to suppress movement; however, this response was ameliorated by the presence of habitat structure. Movement rates of F. olivaceus were negatively related to predator movement and individuals showed a higher propensity to group in the presence of the predator. The predator induced shifts in habitat usage, as individuals utilized the shallower habitat at a greater frequency and for longer durations compared to trials without a predator. Taken together, our results suggest local environmental variables may strongly influence spatiotemporal movement behaviors of F. olivaceus.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: The risk of predation varies with behavioral cues and body characteristics of potential predators. One such body characteristic is the head/face orientation of the predator. However, a prey individual’s ability to detect the head may be more difficult when the predator’s body is serpentine, with little distinguishing the head from the tail. Here, we tested whether individuals in mixed-species flocks of Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) and tufted titmice (Baeolophus bicolor) distinguish the head orientation of predator snake models. We conducted behavioral observations at multiple sites each having a bird feeder stocked with seed. Each chickadee and titmouse flock was exposed to two counterbalanced trials: a snake model with head closest to the seed area of the feeder and with tail closest to the seed area of the feeder. Observers recorded the number of seeds taken by each species and also the number of unsuccessful feeder visits. Chickadees and, to a lesser extent, titmice took fewer seeds and had more unsuccessful feeder visits when the head of the snake model was closest to the seed, compared to when the tail was closest to the seed. Titmice, furthermore, had more unsuccessful feeder visits to the black snake model type representing a real snake nest predator for these small songbirds. Therefore, head orientation seems an important factor that some species use to assess predation risk, even for predatory species where head orientation may be a subtle cue.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Given that both sexes of most parrots learn new vocalizations throughout life and produce them in diverse social contexts, whereas few songbird species combine all these traits, why are parrots not a better model for the evolution of human speech than songbirds? We first note the technical constraints that have limited research on wild parrot communication and then review the discoveries that have accumulated in the last two decades as constraints were overcome. Vocal learning in wild parrots appears unrelated to sexual selection and mate competition but is used by parrot pairs to defend nest sites in ways similar to those of songbirds. Where parrots differ from songbirds is in their specialization on toxic and armored foods, the consequences of this diet on foraging and social dynamics, and the use of learned vocalizations to mediate those dynamics. Parrots thus use learned vocalizations for two quite different functions, only one of which they share with songbirds (and hummingbirds). Interestingly, recent neurobiological studies have shown that parrots have dual cortical pathway nuclei for vocal learning, only one of which is present in songbirds. The parallels between the distributions of functions of vocal learning and brain nuclei suggest future research that should clarify both how and why parrots are more extensive vocal learners than songbirds and whether there are in fact parallels with humans.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
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    ABSTRACT: Ants are able to modulate their behavior according to private and collective information. Collective information is coded in different concentrations of pheromone deposited in the environment, especially on ant trails, whereas private information is learned and memorized by individual ants. It has been shown that both kinds of information act synergistically on the collective trail-following behavior of ant colonies. Another important factor influencing ant behavior is their motivation to follow pheromone trails. Here, we show how private information and motivation modulate the response to collective information. We investigate these effects using a recently proposed approach that employs psychophysical methods to measure the response to varying pheromone concentrations. We studied the effect of private information (route memory) in the species Lasius niger, Euprenolepis procera, and Linepithema humile. Additionally, the effect of motivation was studied in the species E. procera and L. humile. Using psychophysical methods, we quantified these effects for important biological parameters like behavioral thresholds and error rates. The differential changes in these parameters between the three species imply specific adaptations to their environment.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology