The role of physiological traits in assortment among and within fish shoals

TitleThe role of physiological traits in assortment among and within fish shoals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKillen S.S, Marras S., Nadler L., Domenici P.
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Date Published2017/08
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number0962-8436
Accession NumberWOS:000404628900003
Keywordsaerobic scope; antarctic notothenioid fishes; climate-change; collective behaviour; coral-reef fish; ecophysiology; foraging; individual-differences; intraspecific variation; metabolic rate; mobile animal groups; Sociality; standard metabolic-rate; swimming speeds; teleost fish; temperature preference

Individuals of gregarious species often group with conspecifics to which they are phenotypically similar. This among-group assortment has been studied for body size, sex and relatedness. However, the role of physiological traits has been largely overlooked. Here, we discuss mechanisms by which physiological traits-particularly those related to metabolism and locomotor performance-may result in phenotypic assortment not only among but also within animal groups. At the among-group level, varying combinations of passive assortment, active assortment, phenotypic plasticity and selective mortality may generate phenotypic differences among groups. Even within groups, however, individual variation in energy requirements, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, neurological lateralization and tolerance to environmental stressors are likely to produce differences in the spatial location of individuals or associations between group-mates with specific physiological phenotypes. Owing to the greater availability of empirical research, we focus on groups of fishes (i.e. shoals and schools). Increased knowledge of physiological mechanisms influencing among-and withingroup assortment will enhance our understanding of fundamental concepts regarding optimal group size, predator avoidance, group cohesion, information transfer, life-history strategies and the evolutionary effects of group membership. In a broader perspective, predicting animal responses to environmental change will be impossible without a comprehensive understanding of the physiological basis of the formation and functioning of animal social groups. This article is part of the themed issue 'Physiological determinants of social behaviour in animals'.

Short TitlePhilos. Trans. R. Soc. B-Biol. Sci.
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