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Shyness and boldness differences across contexts in juvenile three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus from an anadromous population


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To examine if a behavioural syndrome is present in juvenile three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus from anadromous populations, individuals were repeatedly exposed to a variety of conditions to assess behavioural consistency and determine if a shyness–boldness syndrome occurred. The degree of exploration in a novel environment was positively correlated with boldness in all other test conditions. Activity level in all contexts, foraging, predator inspection and shoaling were found to be repeatable while other behaviours such as latency to respond appeared more plastic. Both similarities and differences were found for behavioural correlations within and across contexts when compared to prior studies on freshwater populations of G. aculeatus. This suggests that selection pressures may vary across ontogeny and environments.