Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8290
Title: Rainbow trout personality: individual behavioral variation in juvenile Oncorhynchus mykiss
Author: Ashley Elias, Frank P. Thrower, Krista M. Nichols
Publication Year: In press
Journal: Behaviour

We evaluated the variation in dispersal, exploration, and aggression across time in juvenile progeny produced from wild caught rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at a critical developmental shift associated with the highest mortality in fish. By testing multiple ecologically relevant behaviors repeatedly in the same individuals, we simultaneously tested multiple hypotheses regarding personality, plasticity, and behavioral syndromes to better understand the innate behavioral variation in a population containing both migratory and resident life histories. There were consistent behavioral differences, or personality, between individuals across time, for dispersal, aggression, and exploration, unrelated to size or sex. The significant repeatabilities (0.10-0.46) indicate that these traits are potentially heritable. Also, we found both habituation in all behaviors and significant differences between individuals in the rate of that habituation, despite no evidence of a behavioral syndrome. The identification of this individual level variation is a step towards understanding which heritable traits selection could influence.

Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Foci: Provide scientific support to ensure safe seafood for healthy populations and characterize how human activities and climate affect risks from pathogens, chemical contaminants and biotoxins