David Bierbach

David Bierbach
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin

Dr. phil. nat.

About

114
Publications
31,152
Reads
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1,558
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2010 - December 2013
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Position
  • PhD Student
October 2003 - December 2009
University of Wuerzburg
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
Behavioural individuality is thought to be caused by differences in genes and/or environmental conditions. Therefore, if these sources of variation are removed, individuals are predicted to develop similar phenotypes lacking repeatable individual variation. Moreover, even among genetically identical individuals, direct social interactions are predi...
Article
Full-text available
Responding towards the actions of others is one of the most important behavioural traits whenever animals of the same species interact. Mutual influences among interacting individuals may modulate the social responsiveness seen and thus make it often difficult to study the level and individual variation in responsiveness. Here, open-loop biomimetic...
Article
Science requires replication. The development of many cloned or isogenic model organisms is a testament to this. But researchers are reluctant to use these traditional animal model systems for certain questions in evolution or ecology research, because of concerns over relevance or inbreeding. It has largely been overlooked that there are a substan...
Article
Full-text available
Body size is often assumed to determine how successfully an individual can lead others with larger individuals being better leaders than smaller ones. But even if larger individuals are more readily followed, body size often correlates with specific behavioral patterns and it is thus unclear whether larger individuals are more often followed than s...
Article
The collective behavior of animals has attracted considerable attention in recent years, with many studies exploring how local interactions between individuals can give rise to global group properties.1, 2, 3 The functional aspects of collective behavior are less well studied, especially in the field,⁴ and relatively few studies have investigated t...
Article
The ability of an individual to predict the outcome of actions of others and to change own behavior adaptively is called anticipation. There are many examples from mammalian species - including humans - that show anticipatory abilities in a social context, however, it is not clear to what extent fishes can anticipate the actions of their interactio...
Article
Understanding how individual differences arise and how their effects propagate through groups are fundamental issues in biology. Individual differences can arise from indirect genetic effects (IGE): genetically based variation in the conspecifics with which an individual interacts. Using a clonal species, the Amazon molly ( Poecilia formosa ), we t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Feral populations of tropical fish species in temperate climates like Central Europe are a rare but repeatedly observed phenomenon. Due to the influence of industrial or geothermal heated water, released tropical fish may be able to survive harsh winter conditions. Here we characterize a newly discovered thermally polluted river, with an establishe...
Article
Full-text available
A key benefit of sociality is a reduction in predation risk. Cohesive group behaviour and rapid collective decision making are essential for reducing predation risk in groups. Parasite infection might reduce an individuals’ grouping behaviours and thereby change the behaviour of the group as a whole. To investigate the relationship between parasite...
Article
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The capacity to compensate for environmental change determines population persistence and biogeography. In ectothermic organisms, performance at different temperatures can be strongly affected by temperatures experienced during early development. Such developmental plasticity is mediated through epigenetic mechanisms that induce phenotypic changes...
Article
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The collective dynamics and structure of animal groups has attracted the attention of scientists across a broad range of fields. A variety of agent-based models have been developed to help understand the emergence of coordinated collective behavior from simple interaction rules. A common, simplifying assumption of such collective movement models, i...
Article
Full-text available
Bird predation poses a strong selection pressure on fish. Since birds must enter the water to catch fish, a combination of visual and mechano-acoustic cues (multimodal) characterize an immediate attack, while single cues (unimodal) may represent less dangerous disturbances. We investigated whether fish could use this information to distinguish betw...
Preprint
Full-text available
A variety of agent-based models has been proposed to account for the emergence of coordinated collective behavior of animal groups from simple interaction rules. A common, simplifying assumption of such collective movement models, is the consideration of individual agents moving with a constant speed. In this work we critically re-asses this assump...
Article
Biomimetic robots that replace living social interaction partners can help elucidate the underlying interaction rules in animal groups. Our review focuses on the use of interactive robots that respond dynamically to animal behavior as part of a closed control loop. We discuss the most influential works to date and how they have contributed to our u...
Article
Full-text available
Animals often face changing environments, and behavioral flexibility allows them to rapidly and adaptively respond to abiotic factors that vary more or less regularly. However, abiotic factors that affect prey species do not necessarily affect their predators. Still, the prey’s response might affect the predator indirectly, yet evidence from the wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding how individual differences among organisms arise and how their effects propagate through social groups are fundamental questions in behavioral biology. Genetic variation among social partners can influence individual phenotypes, creating individual differences that might then have cascading effects in social groups. Using a clonal spe...
Article
Full-text available
Mate choice that is based on behavioural traits is a common feature in the animal kingdom. Using the Trinidadian guppy, a species with mutual mate choice, we investigated whether males use female swimming activity—a behavioural trait known to differ consistently among individuals in many species—as a trait relevant for their mate choice. In the fir...
Article
The Amazon molly is a unique clonal fish species that originated from an interspecies hybrid between Poecilia species P. mexicana and P. latipinna It reproduces by gynogenesis, which eliminates paternal genomic contribution to offspring. An earlier study showed that Amazon molly shows biallelic expression for a large portion of the genome, leading...
Article
Full-text available
Size-selective mortality is common in fish stocks. Positive size-selection happens in fisheries where larger size classes are preferentially targeted while gape-limited natural predation may cause negative size-selection for smaller size classes. As body size and correlated behavioural traits are sexually selected, harvest-induced trait changes may...
Preprint
Mate choice that is based on behavioural traits is a common feature in the animal kingdom. Using the Trinidadian guppy, a species with mutual mate choice, we investigated whether males use female swimming activity – a behavioural trait known to differ consistently among individuals in many species – as a trait relevant for their mate choice. In a f...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the linkage between behavioral types and dispersal tendency has become a pressing issue in light of global change and biological invasions. Here, we explore whether dispersing individuals exhibit behavioral types that differ from those remaining in the source population. We investigated a feral population of guppies (Poecilia reticula...
Chapter
Biomimetic robots that are accepted as social partners by animals may help to gain insights into animals’ social interaction skills. Here, we present an experiment using the biomimetic Robofish which resembles live guppies (Poecilia reticulata) - a small tropical freshwater fish. Guppy females were given the opportunity to interact with different o...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the emergence of collective behaviour has long been a key research focus in the natural sciences. Besides the fundamental role of social interaction rules, a combination of theoretical and empirical work indicates individual speed may be a key process that drives the collective behaviour of animal groups. Socially induced changes in s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Collective motion is commonly modeled with simple interaction rules between agents. Yet in nature, numerous observables vary within and between individuals and it remains largely unknown how animals respond to this variability, and how much of it may be the result of social responses. Here, we hypothesize that Guppies (\textit{Poecilia reticulata})...
Article
Full-text available
Background In many species males face a higher predation risk than females because males display elaborate traits that evolved under sexual selection, which may attract not only females but also predators. Females are, therefore, predicted to avoid such conspicuous males under predation risk. The present study was designed to investigate predator-i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the emergence of collective behaviour has long been a key research focus in the natural sciences. Besides the fundamental role of social interaction rules, a combination of theoretical and empirical work indicates individual speed may be a key process that drives the collective behaviour of animal groups. Socially-induced changes in s...
Article
Full-text available
Animals often show high consistency in their social organisation despite facing changing environmental conditions. Especially in shoaling fish, fission–fusion dynamics that describe for which periods individuals are solitary or social have been found to remain unaltered even when density changed. This compensatory ability is assumed to be an adapta...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the linkage between behavioral types and dispersal tendency has become a pressing issue in light of global change and biological invasions. Here, we explore whether dispersing individuals exhibit behavioral types that differ from those remaining in the source population. We investigated a feral population of guppies ( Poecilia reticul...
Article
Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are able to adapt to various environmental conditions and are even among the few species that can tolerate extensive pollution. In the Pitch Lake of Trinidad they live in highly toxic waters due to natural seepage of oil and bitumen. In this paper, we describe phenotypic divergence in several life-history t...
Article
Full-text available
Visual performance and environmental conditions can influence both behavioral patterns and predator-prey interactions of fish. Eye parasites can impair their host’s sensory performance with important consequences for the detection of prey, predators, and conspecifics. We used European perch (Perca fluviatilis) experimentally infected with the eye f...
Article
1.The role of sexual selection in the context of harvest‐induced evolution is poorly understood. However, elevated and trait‐selective harvesting of wild populations may change sexually‐selected traits, which in turn can affect mate choice and reproduction. 2. We experimentally evaluated the potential for fisheries‐induced evolution of mating behav...
Article
Understanding how animal groups form and function is a major goal in behavioural ecology. Both genetic relatedness and familiarity among group mates have been shown to be key mediators of group composition. However, disentangling the two in most species is challenging as the most familiar individuals are often the most related, and vice versa. The...
Article
We studied the effect of intraspecific hybridization on swimming performance in sterlet, hypothesizing that such hybridization increases the performance by inducing the hybrid vigor. A total of 12 purebred and hybrid crosses were reproduced from Danube (D) and Volga (V) populations of Acipenser ruthenus. Within each cross, one group of fish was exp...
Article
Full-text available
Females can adjust their reproductive effort in relation to their partner’s perceived fitness value. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), large males are typically preferred mating partners. However, females have been observed to reduce their reproductive output with exceptionally large males but it remains unknown whether it is due to sexual harassment or...
Preprint
Full-text available
We compared the social dynamics of two populations of the live-bearing Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana) that live in adjacent habitats with very different predator regimes: cave mollies that inhabit a low-predation environment inside a sulfidic cave with a low density of predatory water bugs (Belostoma sp.), and mollies that live directly outside...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a major form of anthropogenic pollution. ALAN is well known to affect different behaviours during nighttime, when changes in light conditions often have immediate consequences for the trade-offs individuals experience. How ALAN affects daytime behaviours, however, has received far less attention. Here we studied...
Preprint
Understanding how animal groups form and function is a major goal in behavioural ecology. Both genetic relatedness and familiarity among group mates have been shown to be key mediators of group composition. However, disentangling the two in most species is challenging as the most familiar individuals are often the most related, and vice versa. In o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Body size is often assumed to determine how successful an individual can lead others with larger individuals being more likely to lead than smaller ones. However, direct evidence for such a relation is scarce. Furthermore, even if larger individuals are more likely to lead, body size correlates often with specific behavioral patterns (e.g., swimmin...
Article
Full-text available
Divergent selection between ecologically dissimilar habitats promotes local adaptation, which can lead to reproductive isolation (RI). Populations in the Poecilia mexicana species complex have independently adapted to toxic hydrogen sulfide and show varying degrees of RI. Here, we examined the variation in the mate choice component of prezygotic RI...
Preprint
Full-text available
Responding towards the actions of others is one of the most important behavioral traits whenever animals of the same species interact. Mutual influences among interacting individuals may modulate the social responsiveness 19 seen and thus makes it often difficult to study the level and variation of individuality in responsiveness. Here, biomimetic...
Article
Full-text available
The study of animal behavior increasingly relies on (semi-) automatic methods for the extraction of relevant behavioral features from video or picture data. To date, several specialized software products exist to detect and track animals' positions in simple (laboratory) environments. Tracking animals in their natural environments, however, often r...
Article
The honey bee dance communication system is one of the most popular examples of animal communication. Forager bees communicate the flight vector towards food, water, or resin sources to nestmates by performing a stereotypical motion pattern on the comb surface in the darkness of the hive. Bees that actively follow the circles of the dancer, so call...
Article
Full-text available
Biomimetic robots (BRs) are becoming more common in behavioral research and, if they are accepted as conspecifics, allow for new forms of experimental manipulations of social interactions. Nevertheless, it is often not clear which cues emanating from a BR are actually used as communicative signals and how species or populations with different senso...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions continue to grow at a rapid rate, fuelling the need for effective and feasible biomonitoring approaches. Citizen science is an increasingly popular way of undertaking long-term and/ or large-scale monitoring while simultaneously engaging people with science and scientific issues. In temperate regions, industrially created therm...
Article
Full-text available
During adaptation to different habitat types, both morphological and behavioral traits can undergo divergent selection. Males often fight for status in dominance hierarchies and rank positions predict reproductive success. Ecotypes with reduced fighting abilities should have low reproductive success when migrating into habitats that harbor ecotypes...
Article
Full-text available
The existence of individual variation in males’ motivation to mate remains a conundrum as directional selection should favour high mating frequencies. Balancing selection resulting from (context-dependent) female mate choice could contribute to the maintenance of this behavioural polymorphism. In dichotomous choice tests, mosquitofish (Gambusia hol...
Data
Consistent individual differences in male sexual activity; Separation of premature males and females; Experimental setup for the assessment of mating preferences; Table S5; Additional references
Article
Full-text available
Thermally influenced freshwater systems provide suitable conditions for non-native species of tropical and subtropical origin to survive and form proliferating populations beyond their native ranges. In Germany, non-native convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) and tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) have established populations in the Gillbach, a smal...
Article
Full-text available
The teleost brain is an energetically costly organ, which raises the question of how brain anatomy is shaped by divergent ecological factors in contrasting (extreme/resource-limited vs. benign) environments. A previous study compared different ecotypes of the teleost Poecilia mexicana in the Tacotalpa drainage system and found that cave fish had a...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, the following hypotheses were explored using zebrafish Danio rerio: (1) individuals from the same cohort differ consistently in activity and risk-taking and (2) variation in activity and risk-taking is linked to individual differences in metabolic rate, body length and body condition. To examine these hypotheses, juvenile D. rerio we...
Article
Full-text available
Background One aspect of premating isolation between diverging, locally-adapted population pairs is female mate choice for resident over alien male phenotypes. Mating preferences often show considerable individual variation, and whether or not certain individuals are more likely to contribute to population interbreeding remains to be studied. In th...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Information transfer in mammalian communication networks is often based on the deposition of excreta in latrines. Depending on the intended receiver(s), latrines are either formed at territorial boundaries (between-group communication) or in core areas of home ranges (within-group communication). The relative importance of both types of...