A longitudinal study of dominance and aggression in greylag geese (Anser anser)
A variety of factors are known to affect dominance and aggression in social vertebrates. In the present study, we used a long-term data set on greylag geese (Anser anser) to investigate the complex relationships between individual life histories, the social environment, and dominance-related behaviors. We applied a multifactorial approach to assess the relative importance of factors in different life-history stages. Previous studies in geese documented effects of sex and social status and achieved differing results for the effects of family size, age, and body weight on dominance and aggression. Extrinsic factors like season or flock structure were generally not considered. Our analyses showed that a considerable number of factors related to individual life histories, season, and the social environment affected dominance and aggression in greylag geese, but not all significant effects were necessarily strong effects. Pronounced effects on aggression rates were caused by the flock's sex ratio, parental effects, individual social status, and sex. Whether individuals interacted with the same opponents repeatedly was influenced most by parental effects and the sex ratio, whereas the strongest determinants of dominance rank were parental effects and social status. Hence, dominance behaviors may not only be influenced by intrinsic factors but also by season and an individual's social environment. Furthermore, our study indicates that optimal choices for achieving or maintaining a high dominance rank may vary considerably between life-history stages. This highlights the value of long-term studies and multifactorial approaches for understanding the complexities of dominance relationships in social vertebrates. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:beheco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:616-624. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.