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Marras, S., Killen, S. S., Claireaux, G., Domenici, P., & McKenzie, D. J. (2011). Behavioural and kinematic components of the fast-start escape response in fish: individual variation and temporal repeatability. J. Exp. Biol., 214(18), 3102–3110.
Résumé: Inter-individual variation in physiological performance traits, which is stable over time, can be of potential ecological and evolutionary significance. The fish escape response is interesting in this regard because it is a performance trait for which inter-individual variation may determine individual survival. The temporal stability of such variation is, however, largely unexplored. We quantified individual variation of various components of the escape response in a population of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), considering both non-locomotor (responsiveness and latency) and locomotor (speed, acceleration, turning rate, turning angle and distance travelled in a fixed time, D(esc)) variables. We assessed whether variation in performance was temporally stable and we searched for any trade-offs among the components of the response that might explain why the variation persisted in the population. The coefficient of variation was high for all components, from 23% for turning rate to 41% for D(esc), highlighting the non-stereotypic nature of the response. Individual performance for all variables was significantly repeatable over five sequential responses at 30min intervals, and also repeatable after a 30 day interval for most of the components. This indicates that the variation is intrinsic to the individuals, but there was no evidence for trade-offs amongst the components of the response, suggesting that, if trade-offs exist, they must be against other ecologically important behavioural or performance traits.