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Using proximity loggers to describe the sexual network of a freshwater fish

Abstract : Individual interactions are crucial to many ecological processes but are difficult to quantify for long periods in aquatic animals. In this study, we applied a digital proximity logging device recently developed for terrestrial animals to a freshwater fish, the brown trout (Salmo trutta L.). After preliminary calibration and quantification of detection errors, we recorded the interactions occurring between five male and four female brown trout in an artificial channel during one week of the spawning season. The 55,637 logs recorded allowed us to describe the encounter network and its fine scale evolution. In particular, the time spent with females varied a lot across males, from two to 24 h in a five-day period, and the males, which spent the most time with females tended to mate more. At the individual level, the temporal distribution of encounters reflected shifts in dominance status, with males sequentially taking over exclusive proximity with females before spawning. Beyond sexual encounters, the method presented here could be applied to many processes interesting to fish ecologists, such as predator-prey interactions, intra and interspecific competition or disease transmission
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Cédric Tentelier, Jean-Christophe Aymes, Basile Spitz, Jacques Rives. Using proximity loggers to describe the sexual network of a freshwater fish. Environmental Biology of Fishes, Springer, 2016, 99 (8-9), pp.621-631. ⟨10.1007/s10641-016-0504-y⟩. ⟨hal-01901392⟩



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