Personality- and size-related metabolic performance in invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)

Jane Behrens*, Lisa W. von Friesen, Tomas Brodin, Philipp E. Hirsch, Anders Persson, Anna Sundelin, Mikael van Deurs, P. Anders Nilsson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Differences between individuals in behavioral type (i.e. animal personality) are ecologically and evolutionarily important because they can have significant effects on fitness components such as growth and predation risk. In the present study we ere used the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) from an established population in controlled experiments to examine the relationships among personality, metabolic performance, and growth rate (inferred as size-at-age). Boldness was measured as the time to return to normal behavior after a simulated predator attack, where fish with shorter freezing times were categorized as “bold” and fish with longer times were categorized as “shy.” We show that bold fish have significantly higher standard metabolic rate (SMR) than their shy conspecifics, whereas there was no difference between personality types in their maximum metabolic rate (MMR) or aerobic scope (AS). Bold fish furthermore had a smaller size-at-age as compared to shy fish. Together this provides evidence of a metabolic underpinning of personality where the high-SMR bold fish require more resources to sustain basic life functions than their low-SMR shy conspecifics, indicating that bold round goby from established populations with high densities (and high competition for food) pay a price of reduced growth rate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112777
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Behavioral syndrome
  • Pace-of-life syndrome
  • Individuality
  • Metabolism
  • Respirometry
  • Boldness


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