By Leif Asbjorn Vollestad, Thomas P. Quinn
Animal Behaviour, Volume 66, Issue 3, September 2003, Pages 561-568, ISSN 0003-3472, DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2003.2237.

In juvenile salmon and trout, there seems to be a positive phenotypic correlation between individual aggression level and growth rate. Aggressive fish are dominant, and they obtain and defend territories, giving them access to good feeding sites. Being aggressive may increase predation risk, and may also carry costs such as increased metabolic demand, with effects on growth. To test the hypothesis that there is a trade-off between individual growth rate and aggression, we mated 12 female coho salmon with two unique males each, creating 24 full-sibling families. Growth of individually marked fish from each family was estimated in a situation where food could not be monopolized. Thereafter, individual fish were tested for mirror-elicited agonistic behaviour. We found significant variation between families in early growth rate, with a high heritability (1.04). There was also significant between-family variation in agonistic behaviour, but activity was generally low and heritability was low (0.25) and not significant. Growth rate and agonistic behaviour were negatively correlated. These results imply that aggressive behaviour has an energetic cost. Copyright 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

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