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Protein Structures. Gene Ontology GO Terms. Data Citations. Proteomics Data. This ensured that the animals were motivated to forage and in a healthy physiological state during the trials. Twenty trials of this experiment met these criteria and were used for analyses. We compared the number of 1 aggressive behaviors, and 2 submissive behaviors observed during the trials between the species using a two-sided Wilcoxon Sign-Ranks test for matched pairs.
Paired analyses were required because the behaviors of one species could directly influence the behaviors of the other species during the trials. Size-matched pairs of conspecific animals were tested using the same procedure listed in the previous section. One C. Seventeen trials for each species were used for analyses 34 trials total. We compared the number of 1 aggressive, and 2 submissive behaviors shown between species during intraspecific trials using a two-sided Mann-Whitney U-test.
Paired tests were not required for these statistical analyses because the species were tested independently of each other, and thus the behaviors of one species could not directly affect the behaviors of the other. Prior to use in these experiments, animals were withheld from food for 1 day prior to testing to ensure motivation to forage preliminary observations showed 1 day of food deprivation was sufficient for this purpose.
Size-matched pairs of heterospecific animals were placed into the testing apparatus and given a minimum of 15 minutes to acclimate. FE was used to initiate foraging because 1 previous observations showed that FE exposure caused rapid foraging responses and thus decreased the total time needed to run each trial, and 2 without added water movement the odor emanating from the food would not disperse rapidly through the apparatus.
The animals were allowed 2 minutes to locate the food item. Observation time was started either when an animal contacted the food item or 2 minutes elapsed after food placement. The first animal to contact the food item and the total time spent feeding by each animal were recorded for a period of 10 minutes. Feeding was characterized by the animal controlling grasping the food item with its chelipeds or legs and picking off small pieces with the chelipeds. Only trials in which 1 both animals showed foraging behaviors after food placement and 2 at least one animal fed were used for analyses.
Twenty six trials of this experiment met these criteria and were used in the analyses. During some trials, the pellet was broken after manipulation by the animals, allowing both animals to feed simultaneously on different pieces of the food. Because this could not be controlled, the trials were continued as normal and both animals were considered to be feeding. Qualitative observations showed that P. The proportion of trials in which each species was the first to contact the food item was compared using a chi-square goodness-of-fit test.
Time spent feeding by each species was compared using a two-sided Wilcoxon Sign-Ranks test for matched pairs. This experiment was done to determine if feeding times for both species were similar in the absence of a competitor. The same experimental procedure was used as explained in the previous section, except that only a single animal was placed in the apparatus during each trial. Feeding times were compared between species using a two-sided Mann-Whitney U-test. During interspecific foraging bouts in the presence of food odor only, C.
The frequencies of all measured behaviors were higher for C. During interspecific food competition, C. Differences in feeding times between the species can partly be explained by the fact that C. In the absence of a competitor, the feeding times of C. The results of this study support the hypotheses that intertidal hermit crab species occupying adjacent zones in the intertidal zone differ in their rates of aggression and competitive abilities for food resources.
Higher rates of both aggressive and submissive behaviors exhibited by C. The lack of significant difference in time spent feeding in the absence of a competitor suggests that 1 there was no difference between species in their preferences for the food item used in this study, and 2 the species have similar feeding rates when their feeding is not interfered with by a competitor. Significantly higher feeding times by C. The results also suggest that C. The results of this study highlight the need for further research on the feeding ecology of hermit crabs.
Although most hermit crabs exhibit generalist diets  that can be incredibly diverse in the absence of sympatric competitors  , intraspecific  and interspecific  ,  competition have been shown to limit food access to certain individuals. Indeed, recent field analyses of the diets of C.
These findings, in combination with the results reported in this study and what is known about the generality of hermit crab diets  ,  , suggest that 1 interspecific competition makes food a potentially limiting resource, and 2 the outcomes of food competition between sympatric hermit crab species may play an important role in structuring hermit crab assemblages. Because so little is known about food competition in hermit crabs, it is difficult to compare its importance to that of shell competition in influencing species abundances and distributions.
It is important to note that food competition is not necessarily independent of shell competition. Because hermit crabs also use aggression to contest for shells  ,  ,  , it is likely that highly aggressive species would be better at competing for both food and shells than less aggressive species. Additionally, recent research suggests that partially predated or damaged gastropods may serve as both food and shell resources for hermit crabs . Thus, aggression in hermit crabs may facilitate both shell and food resource competition.
In nature, both C. To our knowledge, no data exists on the shell preferences of these species e. The results of this study highlight the need for detailed field experiments measuring the importance of food competition in structuring hermit crab assemblages. While we can infer based on our laboratory results that the differences in competitive abilities between C. It is our hope that the results presented in this manuscript will help raise awareness of the need for field experimentation.
The differences in competitive abilities for food between C. McNatty et al. Thus, it is plausible that the population sizes of P. Differences in competitive abilities for food may also influence the distribution of C. In nature, C. We hypothesize that the zonation patterns of C. Previous studies across habitats and taxonomic groups have shown that dominant competitors often stake out the best habitats for their ecological needs and competitively displace inferior competitors from those habitats  ,  ,  — .
In the context of our study, this would mean that C. This competitive displacement explanation is, of course, dependent on food abundance being highest in the upper intertidal zone. While this has not been tested empirically within the natural ranges of these species, it is plausible given that carrion dead or decaying animal tissue is often stranded at the land-water interface i. As the result of wave action, carrion may be lifted higher in the intertidal zone closer to the shoreline where it interacts with the land and becomes stranded .
Thus, proximity to the strand line would afford animals more frequent opportunities to encounter carrion resources. Indeed, studies conducted in the Gulf of California suggest that ocean-derived carrion reaches land and is an important aspect of the diet of land animals in the area . Thus, it appears that proximity to the strand line would offer foragers increased access to important food resources.
However, detailed field analyses of the carrion distribution in the natural habitats of C. We do not intend to suggest that food competition is the only factor influencing the zonation patterns of C. Indeed, the zonation pattern of organisms are often dictated by a complex interplay among biotic and abiotic environmental conditions  —  ,  ,  ,  , and thus can be heavily influenced by local environmental conditions . Areas higher in the intertidal zone generally expose animals to harsher abiotic conditions than lower intertidal areas due to emersion during periods of low tide .
The true extent to which these abiotic factors influence the distributions of intertidal hermit crabs remains unknown. However, three studies lend support to the belief that abiotic factors i. While the Clibanarius genus of hermit crabs has been shown to have higher desiccation tolerance than the Calcinus genus  , Gherardi and Nardone  found that Calcinus laevimanus has a higher intertidal distribution than Clibanarius humilis.
Similarly, Harvey  concluded that desiccation tolerance was not a strong determinant of the positioning of C. These findings lend support to our hypothesis that the zonation patterns of C. We thank N. Ostrom, G.
The Ecology of Domestic Aggression toward Adult Victims | SpringerLink
Mittelbach, and W. Li for assistance and guidance on the planning of this study, and B.
Wagner for assistance with acquiring research animals. Analyzed the data: MVT. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract The vertical zonation patterns of intertidal organisms have been topics of interest to marine ecologists for many years, with interspecific food competition being implicated as a contributing factor to intertidal community organization. Introduction Hermit crabs are characteristic organisms found in nearly all marine habitats across the globe  , and thus their biology has been widely studied.
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Testing Apparatus The testing apparatus consisted of a mL glass Erlenmeyer flask 8 cm bottom diameter containing mL of ASW and clean, white gravel substrate. Interspecific Aggression in the Presence of Food Odor Only Animals were given no food for 2 days prior to use to ensure motivation to forage during trials.
Table 1. Intraspecific Aggression in the Presence of Food Odor Only Size-matched pairs of conspecific animals were tested using the same procedure listed in the previous section. Interspecific Competition in the Presence of Food Prior to use in these experiments, animals were withheld from food for 1 day prior to testing to ensure motivation to forage preliminary observations showed 1 day of food deprivation was sufficient for this purpose.
Feeding Times without Competition This experiment was done to determine if feeding times for both species were similar in the absence of a competitor.
Table 2. Behaviors observed during interspecific aggression trials. Table 3.
Behaviors observed during intraspecific aggression trials. Table 4. Feeding times when species fed together with competition and independently without competition. Feeding Times without Competition In the absence of a competitor, the feeding times of C. Discussion The results of this study support the hypotheses that intertidal hermit crab species occupying adjacent zones in the intertidal zone differ in their rates of aggression and competitive abilities for food resources.
Acknowledgments We thank N. References 1. Diguet en Basse-Californie. View Article Google Scholar 2. View Article Google Scholar 3. Hazlett BA The behavioral ecology of hermit crabs. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 1— View Article Google Scholar 4. Nauplius 18 1 : 1— View Article Google Scholar 5.
Population differences in aggression are shaped by tropical cyclone-induced selection
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