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Learned recognition of conspecifics
Griffiths, S.W.; Ward, A. (2006). Learned recognition of conspecifics, in: Brown, C. et al. (Ed.) Fish cognition and behavior. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series, 11: pp. 139-165
In: Brown, C.; Laland, K.N.; Krause, J. (Ed.) (2006). Fish cognition and behavior. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series, 11. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford. ISBN 978-1-4051-3429-3. XVIII, 328 pp., more
In: Pitcher, T.J. (Ed.) Fish and Aquatic Resources Series. Blackwell Science: Oxford. ISSN 1746-2606, more

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    Community composition; Depleted stocks; Ecosystem disturbance; Fish culture; Fishery management; Foraging behaviour; Geographical distribution; Habitat selection; Social behaviour; Salmonidae Jarocki or Schinz, 1822 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Griffiths, S.W.
  • Ward, A.

    One of the key concepts in ecology is the way in which the social behaviour of organisms impacts the structure of their geographical distribution. In fishes, individuals are not equally attracted or aggressive towards all other conspecifics; for example, the preferential association of salmonids with relatives (and reduced aggression towards them) is now well established and, more recently, evidence has been obtained for the remarkable ability of fishes to choose among other fishes on the basis of past experience (preferring familiar individuals). This chapter reviews the evidence for these discriminatory behavioural interactions and shows how learned ability to recognize particular conspecifics plays an important role in influencing patterns of mobility and site fidelity in fishes. It will consider how the nature of behavioural interactions and associations between fishes will have especially important implications for their dispersal and also their ability to recolonize after natural or human disturbances. Information regarding group membership (school structure or territorial assemblages) may also have implications for conservation of declining fish stocks and fisheries management policies, because individuals that choose familiar schoolmates accrue antipredator and foraging benefits. Conferring these benefits on declining fish stocks has important economic and conservation implications. Future work may therefore benefit from an exploration of the ecological contexts in which learned recognition of conspecifics is important in natural streams and rivers.

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