Allopatry, competitor recognition and heterospecific aggression in crater lake cichlids

Topi Kasperi Lehtonen, Karine Gagnon, William Geoffrey Sowersby, Bob B M Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Aggressive behaviour can have significant evolutionary consequences-not only within species, but also in the context of heterospecific interactions. Here, we carried out an experimental field study to investigate the importance of phenotypic similarity on levels of aggression between species whilst controlling for familiarity effects using manipulated allopatric stimuli. Specifically, we investigated aggressive responses of territory holding males and females in two species of Neotropical cichlid fish, Amphilophus sagittae and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, that differ in their phenotypic similarity to our allopatric stimulus species, Amphilophus astorquii. Results: We found that, independent of phenotypic similarity (and correlated phylogenetic proximity) between the territory holders and intruder, territorial aggression was not adjusted in relation to allopatric intruder colour markings that are associated with different levels of threat and known to provoke different responses in a sympatric setting. We also found that males and females did not differ in their overall patterns of aggression adjustment towards intruder cues. Nevertheless, the two focal species, which share the same breeding grounds and external threats, exhibited different sex roles in breeding territory defence. Conclusion: Together with earlier studies assessing hetrospecific aggression in sympatry, our current results highlight the importance of coevolution and learning in species interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Allopatry
  • Behavioural plasticity
  • Cichlid fish
  • Colour signal
  • Competitor recognition
  • Heterospecific aggression
  • Phenotypic similarity
  • Signal reliability
  • Species interaction

Cite this

Lehtonen, Topi Kasperi ; Gagnon, Karine ; Sowersby, William Geoffrey ; Wong, Bob B M. / Allopatry, competitor recognition and heterospecific aggression in crater lake cichlids. In: BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2016 ; Vol. 16, No. 1. pp. 1-7.
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abstract = "Background: Aggressive behaviour can have significant evolutionary consequences-not only within species, but also in the context of heterospecific interactions. Here, we carried out an experimental field study to investigate the importance of phenotypic similarity on levels of aggression between species whilst controlling for familiarity effects using manipulated allopatric stimuli. Specifically, we investigated aggressive responses of territory holding males and females in two species of Neotropical cichlid fish, Amphilophus sagittae and Hypsophrys nicaraguensis, that differ in their phenotypic similarity to our allopatric stimulus species, Amphilophus astorquii. Results: We found that, independent of phenotypic similarity (and correlated phylogenetic proximity) between the territory holders and intruder, territorial aggression was not adjusted in relation to allopatric intruder colour markings that are associated with different levels of threat and known to provoke different responses in a sympatric setting. We also found that males and females did not differ in their overall patterns of aggression adjustment towards intruder cues. Nevertheless, the two focal species, which share the same breeding grounds and external threats, exhibited different sex roles in breeding territory defence. Conclusion: Together with earlier studies assessing hetrospecific aggression in sympatry, our current results highlight the importance of coevolution and learning in species interactions.",
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Allopatry, competitor recognition and heterospecific aggression in crater lake cichlids. / Lehtonen, Topi Kasperi; Gagnon, Karine; Sowersby, William Geoffrey; Wong, Bob B M.

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 16, No. 1, 3, 2016, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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