The potential for physiological performance curves to shape environmental effects on social behavior

Killen, S. S. , Cortese, D., Cotgrove, L., Jolles, J. W., Munson, A. and Ioannou, C. C. (2021) The potential for physiological performance curves to shape environmental effects on social behavior. Frontiers in Physiology, 12, 754719. (doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.754719) (PMID:34858209) (PMCID:PMC8632012)

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As individual animals are exposed to varying environmental conditions, phenotypic plasticity will occur in a vast array of physiological traits. For example, shifts in factors such as temperature and oxygen availability can affect the energy demand, cardiovascular system, and neuromuscular function of animals that in turn impact individual behavior. Here, we argue that nonlinear changes in the physiological traits and performance of animals across environmental gradients—known as physiological performance curves—may have wide-ranging effects on the behavior of individual social group members and the functioning of animal social groups as a whole. Previous work has demonstrated how variation between individuals can have profound implications for socially living animals, as well as how environmental conditions affect social behavior. However, the importance of variation between individuals in how they respond to changing environmental conditions has so far been largely overlooked in the context of animal social behavior. First, we consider the broad effects that individual variation in performance curves may have on the behavior of socially living animals, including: (1) changes in the rank order of performance capacity among group mates across environments; (2) environment-dependent changes in the amount of among- and within-individual variation, and (3) differences among group members in terms of the environmental optima, the critical environmental limits, and the peak capacity and breadth of performance. We then consider the ecological implications of these effects for a range of socially mediated phenomena, including within-group conflict, within- and among group assortment, collective movement, social foraging, predator-prey interactions and disease and parasite transfer. We end by outlining the type of empirical work required to test the implications for physiological performance curves in social behavior.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cortese, Ms Daphne and Cotgrove, Lucy and Munson, Dr Amelia and Killen, Professor Shaun
Authors: Killen, S. S., Cortese, D., Cotgrove, L., Jolles, J. W., Munson, A., and Ioannou, C. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Physiology
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1664-042X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Killen, Cortese, Cotgrove, Jolles, Munson and Ioannou
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Physiology 12: 754719
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
308473Effects of Climate-Change Associated Stressors on Fish Social BehavioursShaun KillenNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/T008334/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine