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Reproductive behavioural sequences of single pairs of Atlantic salmon in an experimen
By BENOIT DE GAUDEMAR, EDWARD BEALL
Animal Behaviour, Volume 57, Issue 6, June 1999, Pages 1207-1217, ISSN 0003-3472, DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1999.1104.
We studied 12 size-matched pairs of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar , in an experimental stream in southwest France, to determine whether fish activity and motivation changed during the course of reproduction. The absolute weight of spawners did not affect their spawning activity. On average, females deposited their eggs within 3 days in nine nests. Male and female breeding behaviours changed throughout the reproductive period. This cyclic variation in behaviour appeared to be determined in part by the activity of the other sex, as a consequence of complex interplay between the sexes, but also largely by the stage of the spawning period. During the first three ovipositions, male-female stimulus-reaction chaining became more consistent just before spawning, which may help synchronize gamete release for successful fertilization. During the last three ovipositions, sequence chaining between the sexes was less coherent, possibly as a result of reduced mate attractiveness and/or physiological limitations.