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J. R Marentette, G. Wang, S. Tong, N. M Sopinka, M. D Taves, M. A Koops, and S. Balshine (2011)

Laboratory and field evidence of sex-biased movement in the invasive round goby

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 65(12):2239-2249.

Activity levels are modulated by trade-offs between reducing predation risk and the need to move in order to find food or mates. Because these trade-offs affect males and females differently, many species show sex-specific movement, dispersal patterns, and spatial navigation capacities, with the sex that gains the most from territory ownership often dispersing less. Unlike mammals and birds, sex differences in movement among fishes remain poorly studied, and the connections between tests of movement propensity in the laboratory and in the field are rarely made. Here, we examine the differences in movement between male and female round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in both laboratory and field settings. This fish species is invasive in North America and currently undergoing further range expansions. In the laboratory, round goby males were more active and explored a novel environment more readily than did females. A large-scale mark-recapture study in Lake Ontario over two years revealed that males moved more than females between years, but there were no within-year sex differences. Thus, round goby display male-biased movement patterns, providing a comparison point to dispersal patterns in other taxa. Understanding sex-specific movement of round goby in the field will also help predict dispersal and population dynamics, both in areas where round goby have already become established and where they are continuing to invade.

home range dispersal boldness activity exploration invasive species sex differences mark-recapture neogobius melanostomus japanese fluvial sculpin home-range size spatially structured populations diel vertical migration neogobius-melanostomus mating systems cottus-pollux hamilton harbor natal dispersal lake tanganyika