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Dominance hierarchies need light-darkness to develop robust stability

AuthorsChiarini, Matteo; García, José A. ; Aguzzi, Jacopo ; Sbragaglia, Valerio
Issue Date3-Jul-2018
PublisherSociety for Experimental Biology
CitationAnnual Meeting Society for Experimental Biology (2018)
AbstractStability in linear dominance hierarchies can be characterized by their steepness (i.e., the size of the absolute differences between adjacently ranked individuals in the overall success in winning dominance encounters). The formation and maintenance of those hierarchies is characterized by a gradual polarization (increased steepness) of dominance ranks over time. Agonistic interactions are usually correlated to daily activity rhythms and both are controlled by light-entrained endogenous pacemakers (i.e., circadian clocks). Circadian clocks can be entrained by social cues, but the mechanisms controlling such synchronized clock networks are still not fully understood. The study of circadian clocks in animal groups organized in dominance hierarchies can provide insights on the general mechanisms governing such synchronization. The Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) develops lasting dominance relationships accompanied with rank related changes in burrowing behaviour. Here, we studied the emergence of dominance hierarchies in Nephrops using their locomotor activity as circadian clock output. Four lobsters were housed in a tank (150x75x30 cm) provided with 4 burrows for 6 days in 12-12 light-darkness conditions followed by 7 days of constant darkness, to study the endogenous properties of their circadian clocks. We used steepness to measure the stability of dominance hierarchies. Preliminary results indicated that after switching to constant darkness the stability of dominance hierarchy decreased but the rank position of lobster was maintained. Such results suggested that light-darkness is not a fundamental requirement for establishing and maintaining dominance relationships, however it is important to have robust stability in the dominance hierarchies
DescriptionAnnual Meeting Society for Experimental Biology (SEB Florence 2018), 3-6 July 2018, Florence, Italy.-- 1 page, 3 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://www.sebiology.org/events/event/seb-florence-2018
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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