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Nest size preferences and aggression in sand gobies (Pomatoschistus minutus)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In animal competition, resource holding potential (RHP) and resource value are two important factors determining the level of aggression and the outcome of conflicts. A valuable resource among nest-brooding animals, that is often under extensive competition, is a suitable nest substrate. The sand goby male (Pomatoschistus minutus) varies regionally in their nest size preferences; studies have shown that sand gobies in a marine habitat with egg predators have a size-assortative nest choice while they in a brackish habitat without these predators prefer larger nests independent of own body size. The aim of this study was to investigate if sand gobies from the Kalmar Sound show nest size preferences consistent with earlier conclusions (i.e. a generic preference for large nests, due to an absence of egg predators). A second aim was to test if resource value and RHP affects aggression in nest defending males. First, male sand gobies in individual aquaria were given a choice between a small and a large substrate to use as a nest site. Males in this study showed a distinct preference (23 of 25) for large nests irrespectively of own size as expected from earlier studies in a similar habitat. Second, male sand gobies were offered either a small or a large nest substrate and after a nest had been built they were challenged by an intruder male. The time until the resident male initiated aggressive display against the intruder was measured as a proxy of aggression. Resource value (a preferred large nest vs. unpreferred small nest) had no effect on aggression. However RHP (total length of the resident male) had a significant effect. Larger males were more aggressive than smaller ones, suggesting that aggressive displays are honest signals of own RHP in sand gobies. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 13 p.
Keyword [en]
Nest choice, resource value, resource holding potential, RHP, Kalmar Sound, Baltic Sea
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37647OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37647DiVA: diva2:755157
Subject / course
Biology
Educational program
Biology Programme, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-10-15 Created: 2014-10-13 Last updated: 2014-10-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf