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The role of social attraction and its link with boldness in the collective movements of three-spined sticklebacks

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Social animals must time and coordinate their behaviour to ensure the benefits of grouping, resulting in collective movements and the potential emergence of leaders and followers. However, individuals often differ consistently from one another in how they cope with their environment, a phenomenon known as animal personality, which may affect how individuals use coordination rules and requiring them to compromise. Here we tracked the movements of pairs of three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus acu- leatus, separated by a transparent partition that allowed them to observe and interact with one another in a context containing cover. Individuals differed consistently in their tendency to approach their partner's compartment during collective movements. The strength of this social attraction was positively correlated with the behavioural coordination between members of a pair but was negatively correlated with an individual's tendency to lead. Social attraction may form part of a broader behavioural syndrome as it was predicted by the boldness of an individual, measured in isolation prior to the observation of pairs, and by the boldness of the partner. We found that bolder fish, and those paired with bolder partners, tended to approach their partner's compartment less closely. These findings provide important insights into the mechanisms that govern the dynamics and functioning of social groups and the emergence and maintenance of consistent behavioural differences.
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... nonsocial females, and aggressive and nonaggressive males, recording the frequency of the following parameters: (a) collective movements, in which focal and stimulus fish moved in the same direction (when the focal fish followed the stimulus fish and vice versa), but without any agonistic display, (b (Irawan & Afiati, 2006). Collective movements were coded as affiliative interaction (Jolles et al., 2015). We did not observe biting (the fish were separated by glass) and expansion of the operculum membrane was not measured, because fish occasionally remained in a position that precluded observing the membrane. ...
... The presence of different behavioral profiles in a population was previously described for other species of fish (Ariyomo et al., 2013;Church & Grant, 2019;Freret-Meurer & Alves, 2018;Jolles et al., 2015;White et al., 2019), reptiles (Ibáñez et al., 2018), birds (Betini & Norris, 2012;Dingemanse et al., 2004), and mammals ...
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Individual differences in behavior are observed in the variety of ways animals respond to environmental challenges, interact in a social group, take risks to access a resource, and so forth. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral reactions of male and female Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) in different contexts and how they affect female mate choice. A total of 100 females and 50 males were classified according to boldness, sociability, and aggression, and then female mate choice was observed based on male profile and body color. Our results showed sex-related differences in Siamese fighting fish behavioral profiles: Males exhibited a higher correlation with aggression and females with boldness. Both male and female behavioral profile affected female mate choice. Females preferred bold red and nonaggressive red males. Sex-related differences in behavioral profiles may reflect ecological differences between male and female Siamese fighting fish. Female mate choice could be related to behavioral profiles that indicate better parental care, as male features may influence parental care decisions and the development of offspring behavioral profiles. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Furthermore, among commons, bolder individuals had lower clustering coefficients. A previous study found that bolder stickleback had lower levels of social attraction toward conspecifics (Jolles et al. 2015). Therefore, bolder individuals in our study might have been less attracted to other individuals, constraining their social interactions to just a few other individuals and leading to lower clustering coefficients. ...
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... Behavioural syndromes are defined as correlations between two or more behaviours at the amongindividual level, often exhibited across different contexts/ situations (Dingemanse et al. 2012). Behavioural syndromes have been frequently documented involving boldness, including many cases where boldness in one context was correlated with boldness (or exploration) in another (Wilson and Godin 2009;Wisenden et al. 2011;Jolles et al. 2015;Careau et al. 2019). These findings have demonstrated that a shy-bold continuum may arise from a syndrome of correlated risk-taking behaviours. ...
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... Social species rely on recognition mechanisms to discriminate and associate with individuals similar to themselves, a phenomenon common to multiple taxa across the animal kingdom [1]. This has also been confirmed for multiple fish species, for which social recognition and attraction can be mediated by sex [2], body size [3], shoal size [4], body coloration [5], health status (e.g., external indicators of parasitism [6]), behaviour [7], relatedness [8], and familiarity [9]. Associating with either kin (genetically related) or familiar (with sufficient amount of time of interaction and sharing of activities between the individuals) fishes has several benefits for individuals' fitness and survival, as it promotes growth [10], enhances cooperative behaviour [11], improves group antipredator behaviour [12], enhances foraging activity [13], reduces aggression between individuals within the group [14], and even promotes learning abilities [14][15][16]. ...
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... As they were bolder, they would likely explore the new object more in comparison to shyer individuals. Moreover, bolder individuals were reported to be less social (Conrad et al., 2011;Jolles et al., 2015;Tang and Fu, 2020). ...
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A perplexing new question that has emerged from the recent surge of interest in behavioural syndromes or animal personalities is – why do individual animals behave consistently when behavioural flexibility is advantageous? If individuals have a tendency to be generally aggressive, then a relatively aggressive individual might be overly aggressive towards offspring, mates or even predators. Despite these costs, studies in several taxa have shown that individuals that are more aggressive are also relatively bold. However, the behavioural correlation is not universal; even within a species, population comparisons have shown that boldness and aggressiveness are correlated in populations of sticklebacks that are under strong predation pressure, but not in low predation populations. Here, we provide the first demonstration that an environmental factor can induce a correlation between boldness and aggressiveness. Boldness under predation risk and aggressiveness towards a conspecific were measured before and after sticklebacks were exposed to predation by trout, which predated half the sticklebacks. Exposure to predation generated the boldness–aggressiveness behavioural correlation. The beha-vioural correlation was produced by both selection by predators and behavioural plasticity. These results support the hypothesis that certain correlations between behaviours might be adaptive in some environments. Behavioural correlations are difficult to explain because behavioural flexibility is advantageous (Sih et al. 2004a). For example, if individuals have a tendency to be generally aggressive, then a relatively aggressive individual might be overly aggressive towards offspring (Wingfield et al. 1990; Ketterson & Nolan 1999), mates (Johnson & Sih 2005) or even predators (Sih et al. 2004a). Despite these costs, studies in several taxa have shown that individuals that are more aggressive are also relatively bold (Huntingford 1976; Hedrick & Riechert 1989; Riechert & Hedrick 1990; Bell 2005; Johnson & Sih 2005). However, the behavioural correlation is not universal, even within a species: popula-tion comparisons (Bell 2005; Dingemanse et al. in press) have shown that sticklebacks from populations that are under strong predation pressure behave consistently towards predators and conspecific competitors, but their counterparts from safe environments do not. One possible reason why there is a behavioural correla-tion in high but not low predation populations could be that predators favour the correlation between boldness and aggressiveness via correlational selection. Correlational selection occurs when certain combinations of traits are favoured over others, such that the fitness of one trait depends on the value of other traits (Lande & Arnold 1983; Brodie et al. 1995; Svensson et al. 2001). For example, correlational selection favours certain combinations of colour patterns and escape behaviours in garter snakes (Brodie 1992). As both behavioural reactions to predators (Tulley & Huntingford 1987; Huntingford et al. 1994) and to conspecifics (Bakker 1986) are partly heritable in stickle-backs, a response to natural selection by predators might have produced the correlation in high predation