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Causal relationships between aggression and the sexual and nest behaviours in the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus


, : Causal relationships between aggression and the sexual and nest behaviours in the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Animal Behav, 202: 335-340

The causal relationships between aggression and various sexual and ‘displacement’ nest activities were examined in the male three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus. A highly aggressive internal state was found incompatible with effective sexual performance; the sexual displays were either reduced in frequency or totally inhibited. However, the male seems to possess mechanisms for the rapid readjustment in internal state to one more favourable for sexual behaviour. Stimulation of aggression at first inhibits the nest activity gluing, but the longer-term effect is to enhance it. Since gluing frequency correlates well with sexual behaviour, this suggests that the causal relationship between the ‘ex’ and ‘aggression’ variables, though often negative, may actually be positive on a certain time scale.

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Accession: 038054223

PMID: 4674671

DOI: 10.1016/s0003-3472(72)80055-1

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