Bioeconomics of schooling fishes: selfish fish, quasi-free riders, and other fishy tales

@article{Landa2004BioeconomicsOS,
  title={Bioeconomics of schooling fishes: selfish fish, quasi-free riders, and other fishy tales},
  author={Janet Tai Landa},
  journal={Environmental Biology of Fishes},
  year={2004},
  volume={53},
  pages={353-364}
}
  • J. Landa
  • Published 1 December 1998
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Biology of Fishes
Applying the economic theory of clubs to the biological literature on schooling fish, this paper develops a 'selfish fish' club-theoretic paradigm of why fish join a fish school, and arrive at the following conclusions. A selfish fish: (a) joins the fish school because it derives hydrodynamic benefits (a club good); the selfish fish is a 'quasi-free rider'; (b) has no incentive to completely free ride on the benefits of the club good, because it will be, literally, left behind by the school… 
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Reminiscing briefly about Environmental Biology of Fishes (1976–2002)
  • E. Balon
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental Biology of Fishes
  • 2004
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A hypothesis on the nature of the schooling behaviour of fish based on an ethological investigation of schooling is presented, suggesting that with increasing reproductive motivation male Gasterosteus cease schooling and try to hold territories and Females disperse to a limited extent.
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Individual risk of being attacked and killed by a fish predator declined with increasing killifish school size in a manner closely predicted by the dilution hypothesis, and straying from a school has an associated increased risk of mortality to predation, which selects for schooling behaviour.
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Respirometer experiments indicated these fish were capable of achieving some hydrodynamic benefits from schooling but these benefits may be a function of fish size.
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