Consistency of fish‐shoal social network structure under laboratory conditions

K. A. Gaffney, M. M. Webster

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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We investigated the consistency of association network structure for groups of sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus. Each group was observed twice and we varied the duration between observations and the size of the experimental arena that they were observed in. At the dyad level, we found positive correlations between dyad interaction frequencies across observations. At the group level we found variation in four network metrics between observations, but only in treatments where the duration between observations was short. Specifically, fish formed more and smaller groups in the second observation in this treatment. Fish were also organized into more subunits in the larger arenas. Finally, we saw positive correlations between some group network metrics across observations suggesting relative consistency at the group level. There are several processes that might drive these interaction patterns. Our findings have implications for experimental design and the comparison and integration of findings of experiments from different studies carried out under different conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
VolumeEarly View
Early online date6 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2018


  • Assortment
  • Group
  • Shoaling
  • Social behaviour
  • Social information
  • Social organization


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