University of Oulu

Topi K. Lehtonen, Bob B.M. Wong, Context-dependent resource choice in a nest-building fish, Animal Behaviour, Volume 166, 2020, Pages 297-303, ISSN 0003-3472,

Context-dependent resource choice in a nest-building fish

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Author: Lehtonen, Topi K.1,2,3; Wong, Bob B. M.2,3
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
3Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, Hanko, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-07-09


When making decisions, individuals can be influenced by both the range of options available to them and intrinsic factors, such as their own body size or condition. The current understanding of the topic comes mostly from studies of foraging behaviour and mate choice, whereas other fitness-related decisions have been the subject of much less attention. Here, we investigated how the number of available options, along with body size and condition, affect the nesting resource choices of male sand gobies, Pomatoschistus minutus. The results show that resource choices were not affected by additional choice options (i.e. binary versus ternary choice situation) or the body condition of the chooser, whereas resource size, resource type (i.e. whether choices were between arched or flat resources) and body size did have an effect. In particular, while larger nesting resources were chosen more often in most situations, this pattern was stronger among larger males and when the resources had a flat, rather than arched, shape. Indeed, in the case of arched resources, the medium size category was more popular than the smaller and larger ones. Together, the results show that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors can influence important behavioural decisions over resource choice.

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Series: Animal behaviour
ISSN: 0003-3472
ISSN-E: 1095-8282
ISSN-L: 0003-3472
Volume: 166
Pages: 297 - 303
DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.06.007
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: We thank the staff of Tvärminne Zoological Station, and the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University for financial support, and the anonymous referees for their helpful comments.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license