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The relative influence of prior residency and dominance on the early feeding behaviou
By A. J. Harwood, S. W. Griffiths, N. B. Metcalfe, J. D. Armstrong
Animal Behaviour, Volume 65, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 1141-1149, ISSN 0003-3472, DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2003.2125.
In many species where social hierarchy mediates conflict over resources, dominant individuals monopolize food, shelter and reproductive opportunities. The benefits of social dominance, however, can often be offset by a prior residence advantage, whereby individuals arriving first in a new habitat obtain, and subsequently defend, the most profitable sites. We investigated the relative influence of these two factors on the acquisition of feeding territories by juvenile Atlantic salmon,Salmo salar L., by placing groups of six individuals of known dominance rank sequentially into an experimental arena with feeding sites of varying quality. Dominants had an advantage over subordinates in the percentage of time spent in a good-quality feeding site and individual feeding rate. There was also a significant time of arrival effect: those individuals that arrived first in a habitat monopolized the resource. The two effects were of approximately equal strength, so that late-arriving dominant fish had similar success as prior resident subordinates. These results indicate that both dominance and prior residence are important in the feeding behaviour of juvenile Atlantic salmon, and that the two factors can have independent and additive effects.Copyright 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.