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Failure of physiological metrics to predict dominance in juvenile Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.): habitat effects on the allometry of growth in dominance hierarchies11Order of authors represents their contribution to the manuscript.
- Van Leeuwen, Travis E., Rosenfeld, Jordan S., Richards, Jeffrey G.
- Canadian journal of fisheries and aquatic sciences 2011 v.68 no.10 pp. 1811-1818
- Oncorhynchus, allometry, animal growth, energy intake, habitats, juveniles, salmon, stream channels, territoriality
- Territoriality is one of the best examples of interference competition and generally results in larger, dominant individuals gaining preferential access to food. However, the expectation of higher growth of dominant individuals among juvenile salmonids has received only mixed support. We used outdoor semi-natural stream channels stocked with varying sizes of young of the year juvenile salmonids under high and low food rations (i) to examine the mechanisms underlying variation in the benefits of dominance and (ii) to demonstrate that inconsistencies in the apparent benefits of dominance are a logical outcome of the allometry of growth and differential energy intake among fish of different size in a dominance hierarchy. Growth of dominants exceeded that of subordinates when food was abundant, but subordinates grew faster than dominants in low food treatments and when dominant fish increased in size and approached the capacity of their habitat. In general, size disparity within a dominance hierarchy may promote higher growth of subdominants because of the lower energetic requirements of smaller individuals, and the allometry of fish growth, relative to habitat capacity, can reverse the expected growth and condition of dominant and subordinate fish.