Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Personality-dependent inter- and intraspecific foraging competition in the invasive round goby, Neogobius melanostomus.

Abstract

This study examines the impact of boldness on foraging competition of the highly invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus Pallas 1815. Individual risk tolerance, or boldness, was measured as the time to resume movement after a simulated predation strike. Fish that resumed movement faster were categorized as "bold," fish that took more time to resume movement were categorized as "shy" and those that fell in between these two categories were determined to have "intermediate" boldness. Competitive impacts of boldness in N. melanostomus were determined in a laboratory foraging experiment in which interspecific (juvenile Atlantic cod Gadus morhua Linnaeus 1758) and intraspecific (intermediate N. melanostomus) individuals were exposed to either bold or shy N. melanostomus competitors. G. morhua consumed fewer prey when competing with bold N. melanostomus than when competing with shy N. melanostomus, whereas intermediately bold N. melanostomus foraging was not affected by competitor boldness. Bold and shy N. melanostomus consumed similar amounts of prey, and the number of interactions between paired fish did not vary depending on the personality of N. melanostomus individuals. Therefore, intraspecific foraging competition was not found to be personality dependent. This study provides evidence that individual differences in boldness can mediate competitive interactions in N. melanostomus; nonetheless, results also show that competition is also governed by other mechanisms that require further study.