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Dispersal Status-Dependent Response to the Social Environment in the Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara

P. Aragón, S. Meylan and J. Clobert
Functional Ecology
Vol. 20, No. 5 (Oct., 2006), pp. 900-907
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3806599
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Dispersal Status-Dependent Response to the Social Environment in the Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara
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Abstract

1. Individuals following different strategies such as philopatry or dispersal may also differ in other phenotypic traits, since dispersing individuals have to face novel physical and social environments. There is growing evidence of the use of information obtained from conspecifics in a variety of contexts. It has been demonstrated that before natal dispersal, juveniles of Lacerta vivipara use social information through conspecific chemical cues, and that various phenotypes use this information differently. We hypothesized that, after dispersal, the behavioural responses of yearlings to different social environments assessed through conspecific odours depend on the dispersal status. 2. We tested the response of philopatric and dispersing yearlings of L. vivipara to different types of social cues, controlling for the prenatal and postnatal environment. Each yearling was faced with environments with no conspecific odours, with scent-marks from one or three yearlings that were held isolated during captivity, and from three socially housed yearlings. Thus, we examined the response to the number of donors and to the social environment experienced by donors. We recorded the time spent walking and attempting to escape as indicators of activity and avoidance response, respectively. 3. Philopatric and dispersing individuals reacted differently to the social environments presented through odour marks. This dispersal status-dependent response was not modulated by the prenatal and postnatal factors examined.

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