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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Influence of predation risk on individual competitive ability and growth in Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis

Westerberg M, Staffan F, Magnhagen C


We studied the potential influence of predation risk on the competitive ability and habitat use of foraging perch and the effect of these interactions on growth. Groups of four similar-sized young-of-the-year perch were in visual contact with a piscivorous perch during feeding. The fry had the choice of vegetation and open habitat, with food presented in the open habitat. Competitive ability, defined as proportion of prey attacks, varied between perch individuals and was unaffected by predation risk. The variation in proportion of prey attacks was affected by relative size within each replicate group, despite small size differences ( 1 mm), with the largest individual being a better competitor than the smallest ones. The degree of boldness, measured as the proportion of time spent in the open habitat, was significantly related to both competitive ability and prey attack order. Observations of aggressive behaviour indicated a possible occurrence of interference competition, which may contribute to the appearance of different competitive abilities between individuals within a group of perch. A significant correlation was found between competitive ability and growth. Growth variation within groups was not affected by predation risk. (C) 2004 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Animal Behaviour
2004, Volume: 67, pages: 273-279

      SLU Authors

    • Staffan, Fia

      • Department of Aquaculture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Magnhagen, Carin

        • Department of Aquaculture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Fish and Aquacultural Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)