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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Personality-dependent dispersal cancelled under predation risk

Cote, Julien; Fogarty, Sean; Tymen, Blaise; Sih, Andrew; Brodin, Tomas


Dispersal is a fundamental life-history trait for many ecological processes. Recent studies suggest that dispersers, in comparison to residents, display various phenotypic specializations increasing their dispersal inclination or success. Among them, dispersers are believed to be consistently more bold, exploratory, asocial or aggressive than residents. These links between behavioural types and dispersal should vary with the cause of dispersal. However, with the exception of one study, personality-dependent dispersal has not been studied in contrasting environments. Here, we used mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to test whether personality-dependent dispersal varies with predation risk, a factor that should induce boldness or sociability-dependent dispersal. Corroborating previous studies, we found that dispersing mosquitofish are less social than non-dispersing fish when there was no predation risk. However, personality-dependent dispersal is negated under predation risk, dispersers having similar personality types to residents. Our results suggest that adaptive dispersal decisions could commonly depend on interactions between phenotypes and ecological contexts.


behavioural type; boldness; sociability; behavioural syndrome; ecological invasion; predator-prey interaction

Published in

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
2013, Volume: 280, number: 1773, article number: 20132349
Publisher: ROYAL SOC

    SLU Authors

    • Brodin, Tomas

      • Umeå University
      • University of California Davis (UC Davis)

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