Mark A. Briffa

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Many phenotypic traits show plasticity but behaviour is often considered the 'most plastic' aspect of phenotype as it is likely to show the quickest response to temporal changes in conditions or 'situation'. However, it has also been noted that constraints on sensory acuity, cognitive structure and physiological capacities place limits on behavioural(More)
Exposure to pollution and environmental change can alter the behaviour of aquatic animals and here we review recent evidence that exposure to elevated CO₂ and reduced sea water pH alters the behaviour of tropical reef fish and hermit crabs. Three main routes through which behaviour might be altered are discussed; elevated metabolic load, 'info-disruption'(More)
Aggressive interactions between animals are often settled by the use of repeated signals that reduce the risk of injury from combat but are expected to be costly. The accumulation of lactic acid and the depletion of energy stores may constrain activity rates during and after fights and thus represent significant costs of signalling. We tested this by(More)
Variation in behaviour occurs at multiple levels, including between individuals (personality) and between situations (plasticity). Behaviour also varies within individuals, and intra-individual variation (IIV) in behaviour describes within-individual residual variance in behaviour that remains after the effects of obvious external and internal influences on(More)
Agonistic interactions between animals are often settled by the use of repeated signals which advertise the resource-holding potential of the sender. According to the sequential assessment game this repetition increases the accuracy with which receivers may assess the signal, but under the cumulative assessment model the repeated performances accumulate to(More)
'Animal personality' means that individuals differ from one another in either single behaviours or suites of related behaviours in a way that is consistent over time. It is usually assumed that such consistent individual differences in behaviour are driven by variation in how individuals respond to information about their environment, rather than by(More)
When social animals engage in inter-group contests, the outcome is determined by group sizes and individual masses, which together determine group resource-holding potential ('group RHP'). Individuals that perceive themselves as being in a group with high RHP may receive a motivational increase and increase their aggression levels. Alternatively,(More)
Contests often occur between members of the same sex when they compete for access to mates, but inter-sexual contests may occur over access to other essential resources such as food or shelter. Despite the possibility that such contests are common, most studies focus on male fighting, and very few have analysed fights between males and females. Because(More)
We demonstrate the presence of animal personality in an inter-tidal gastropod, Littorina littorea, both in a sample of individuals infected by the trematode Cryptocotyle lingua and in an uninfected sample. On average infected individuals behaved more cautiously than individuals free of infection, but the parasite did not affect repeatability. Although the(More)
When animals engage in fights they face a series of decisions, which are based on the value of the contested resource and either their relative or their absolute fighting ability. Certain correlates of fighting ability or 'resource holding potential' such as body size are fixed but physiological correlates are expected to vary during the encounter. We(More)