The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Collective order and group structure of shoaling fish subject to differing risk-level treatments with a sympatric predator"

Posted on 2024-06-07 - 14:24
It is imperative for individuals to exhibit flexible behaviour according to ecological context, such as available resources or predation threat. Manipulative studies on responses to threat often focus on behaviour in the presence of a single indicator for the potential of predation, whereas in the wild perception of threat will likely be more nuanced. Here we examine the collective behaviour of eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) subject to five differing threat scenarios relating to the presence and hunger state of a jade perch (Scortum barcoo). Across threat scenarios, groups exhibit unique behavioural profiles that differ in the durations that particular collective states are maintained, the probability of transitions between states, the size and duration of persistence of spatially defined subgroups, and the patterns of collective order of these subgroups. Under the greatest level of threat subgroups of consistent membership persist for longer durations. Group level behaviours, and their differences, are interconnected with differences in estimates of the underlying rules of interaction thought to govern collective motion. The responses of the group are shown to be specific to the details of a potential threat, rather than a binary response to the presence or absence of some form of threat.


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Royal Society Open Science


Timothy Martin Schaerf
Alexander D.M. Wilson
Mitchell Welch
Ashley JW Ward
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